Government should get out of the way

Published 12:20 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dear Editor,

In response to Kimberly Barrett’s “She Says” column from July 7: Ms. Barrett seems to imply that ‘Reaganomics’ was letting companies exploit everyone and everything and maybe some crumbs would trickle down to the average person.

The actual thrust of Reagan’s economic policies was to get government out of the way and let American enterprise, large and small, grow. In 1980 the top federal tax bracket was 50 percent. Can you imagine taking the risks of giving jobs to people, buying equipment, advertising and building a company just to give half of your profits, if you make any, to the feds and even more to state and local governments?

Profits spur growth, growth means more jobs, jobs create wealth, wealth creates spending and thus back to profits. All the benefits derive from profits. No business enterprise can long endure without making money.

The government, with its taxing authority, is the only organization that can lose money at everything it does and make other people pay for it.

The U.S. Postal Service or Amtrak are only two examples.

If profit-driven companies do not provide jobs, who will? Where will the money come from to make things and sell them? Who will provide services people want and need?

The question remains the same whether the topic is big companies or small. The banking and oil sectors are two of the most regulated in United States history. How is that working out? The Gulf spill was not caused by a lack of regulation but by a company willing to break existing rules and an ineffective governmental enforcement regime.

More regulation that is either too vague to enforce or counterproductive is not needed. If we really are worried for the working person, we need to rescind the ban on drilling that, if left in place, will cost us 80,000 jobs.

I would suggest Ms. Barrett take a look around. Not at her tax-paid colleagues at the University of Montevallo, but at the tax-paying workers and entrepreneurs featured and advertised in the Reporter that printed her column.

From emergency medical services to pizza, she will find businesspeople who take risk and work hard. They deserve their government to help, not hinder and to let them keep the fruits of their labor.

Stephen Pryor