Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said Tuesday that the response to the Boston Marathon bombings made the case for a robust government.
"In this terrible situation, let's be very grateful that we had a well-funded, functioning government. It is very fashionable in America ... to criticize government, to belittle public employees, talk about their pensions, talk about what people think is their excessive health care, here we saw government in two ways perform very well," Frank said on CNN's "Starting Point," noting the cooperation between state, local and federal authorities.
"No tax cut would have helped us deal with this or will help us recover," he said. "This is very expensive."
Frank retired from Congress in January after serving since 1981. He was a persistent, if pugnacious, advocate for liberalism while in office. In the aftermath of the attacks, he continued to make the argument for a strong government, even if it will likely be seen in some quarters as "too soon."
"We're not asking people, look, do you have private health insurance or not, can you afford this or not? Maybe the government's going to have to pay for it," he said. "And this is an example of why we need -- if we want to be a civilized people -- to put some of our resources into a common pool so we are able to deal with this, and to deal with it, you can't simply be responsive once it happens."
"I hope people aren't going to think, 'oh, okay, you spent these tens and tens of billions of dollars, which is probably a low estimate, let's take that out of everything we have going forward,'" he said.
The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that 3 were dead and 140 were wounded in the attacks.