Great American Debate: Closing Statements

George Will and Robert Reich make closing arguments on the role of government.
3:29 | 12/18/11

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Transcript for Great American Debate: Closing Statements
It's been a spirited and -- debate and now the teens get one last chose to make that case we have time of grief those statements studying with George Will. Want to thank Bob and -- for children herculean task of arguing. The government today is too small too frugal to modest. I think big government harms prosperity of harm's prosperity by allocating resources not in terms of efficiency and in terms of political power that directs the application. I think big government -- freedom because it is an enormous tree in the shade of which the smaller institutions of civil society cannot prosper. And most of all big government today harms equality. -- harms equality because by concentrating power in Washington and big government. It makes itself susceptible to the rent seeking. By big muscular interest groups the only people who can come to Washington and -- the government to private purposes. Get the government out of our lives. More and more you will find that freedom. And the market allocations. Of wealth and opportunity prevails. Jefferson understood it. Jefferson understood that you can have -- government. With minimal attention to the absolute essentials we've talked about we've of course we want government to build roads. We want government to defend the shores we want the government to deliver the -- but after it does the essentials. Understand what Ronald Reagan did when Ronald Reagan says we're going to have less government under Reagan. Respect for government something we all want respect for government rose. As government's role. Decline. Thank you George Will Robert Reich -- first Maloney. -- both of you for trying to defend the indefensible. Which is that the market is working beautifully and you don't need much with regard to government. I think if I can summarize what my debating partner and I've been saying. It's that the issue was not so much how large government should be but who government should be for. And these days so many Americans are worried that the game is rigged. That the -- are loaded in favor big corporations. And Wall Street and the rich. And indeed what George you have said over and over again and Paul Ryan you said. Is that yes there is too much crony capitalism there is too much a big corporation and and the rich and and Wall Street. But you seem to believe that if you've got rid of government then. Somehow individuals would not be they imperiled by those same forces they would be. Big government is a canard I mean look at him and I spent half of my life and government -- look like big government. -- let's let's get serious about what we are talking about. And and then let's make sure that we understand. We are living in a society where people care about jobs to care about wages they can't get ahead. Because so much wealth and income are at the top and taxes are not being paid at the top to finance. Education and health care and infrastructure that everybody depends on to get ahead upward mobility is being slowed. Because of that unique quality and that he ability. Abbas to actually have the effect we the people not we the corporations not we Wall Street not -- the rich want to -- Reich thank you that much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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