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American Prospects

Poverty Requires Disaster Relief

December 10, 2012

?I?m from the government, and I?m here to help.? Ronald Reagan?s famous ?nine most terrifying words in the English language? continue to serve as fodder for conservatives and to infuriate progressives. Reagan?s mocking line kicked off a wave of anti-state backlash that conservatives continue to ride, and any long-range plan for rehabilitating the progressive agenda has to contend with the stigma that surrounds government aid.

But Reagan wasn?t announcing cuts in federal aid?quite the opposite. He was inoculatin

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