An underpinning of Cal Thomas’ May 2 column (“Unchecked spending imperils U.S. government,” The Daily Progress), about the perils of “big” government overspending, is the statement: “The Founders wanted government to be limited so the people would be unlimited in their pursuit of whatever made them happy.”

The Founders have been dead for more than two centuries, and their perceived view of government in 1787 is not necessarily fully relevant to the U.S. in 2020 and to what its citizens need to make them happy.

The federal, state and local governments, through the use laws and tax funds, have a major role in the improvement of the quality of our collective lives — i.e., make us happier. This is especially true in the midst of a viral epidemic.

In addition, the ratio of our national debt relative to our gross domestic product has been worse in the past, such as during World War II. The current epidemic may yet be as devastating from a human and economic standpoint as WWII. America did not “cease to exist” in 1946, as Mr. Thomas might have predicted had he been there then, and it will not in 2021.

Barry Gold

Albemarle County

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