It’s All About Jobs
By Representative Tim LeGeyt
Government doesn’t create jobs, and it is not the “job engine” of our economy. Jobs come from our communities. While government can act to encourage job creation and cultivate an environment for economic growth, ultimately, jobs that are created and bring value added to the economy come from entrepreneurial risk-takers who pursue ideas and create small businesses. Jobs come from responsible business decisions that can, for example, expand a 14 person family dairy farm into a household grocery label. Even great corporations had humble beginnings.
Considering the tough times we’re in, it is as much a struggle for the state to create a healthy environment for job growth as it is for our job creators to find and produce funding for new hiring. Companies will hire when the market strengthens and the current uncertainty is exchanged for stable and predictable growth.
Everyone – whether he or she is a State Representative, a small business owner, or a parent managing a household – everyone feels the crunch of the economy and worries about revenue. Last year the state government borrowed about $1 billon to cover basic operating expenses – an action that postpones the inevitable budget balancing and makes it much more expensive in the long run. We in the government must think wisely and act quickly. The State of Connecticut funds many worthy programs and services, but like our businesses and Connecticut families, revenue streams are facing a drought. It’s time to use some common sense to cut consumption and take a hard look at our spending.
We should stop thinking about our own state revenue streams for a moment and start finding ways to make it easier for others to nurture theirs. In this legislative session, dubbed as the “budget” and “jobs” session, instead of the government ramping up, it should back off just a little. We need to give people room to breathe. We need to cultivate space for growth and expansion. Then, when successful business opportunities occur, we should encourage them and give them some room to grow rather than seizing a portion of their profits as government revenue and crushing the path to recovery.
Some of my colleagues oppose responsible spending because it’s too risky to cut back in an election year. They desire economic growth, because a good economy is good for everyone, but they try to attach too many tax revenue supply lines to the growth engines. These same colleagues will call for the government to step in with stimulus aide and throw an artificial one-time boost at the producers of our economy. Unfortunately, they fail to recognize that a one-time boost is like a shot of caffeine: it eventually wears off.
Employers won’t begin to permanently hire until the market picks back up and they feel a steady predictability that allows them to chart a path for growth. So let’s back off a little, tighten our government belts, and start thinking of others’ recovery first for a change.