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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, lets 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 CNNs "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."

"Were not asking people, look, do you have private health insurance or not, can you afford this or not? Maybe the governments 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 cant simply be responsive once it happens."

"I hope people arent going to think, oh, okay, you spent these tens and tens of billions of dollars, which is probably a low estimate, lets 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.

“This is a horrific day in Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the President, Mayor Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”

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