Op-Ed: Unnecessary government burdens

By Andrew Hemingway
Chairman, Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

If you’ve been listening to Democratic rhetoric in recent months, you’d think Republicans were bent on destroying jobs with the budget they just passed. It’s time for another reality check.

When Republicans promised to create jobs, that meant they would help create the conditions to encourage private-sector employers to start hiring. The best way to stimulate such job creation is to reduce the size and scope of government so that taxes and fees can be decreased or eliminated. In fact, that’s exactly what Republicans promised to do during their 2010 election campaign. Right now, they’re fulfilling their campaign promises—promises that the people clearly supported and still support,

So far, the Republican record is on track. July was the beginning of the fiscal year affected by the Republican budget that just passed. From June to July in preliminary findings by New Hampshire Employment Security, 6,100 jobs were created in the private sector, while 9,300 jobs (many vacant) were eliminated in the government sector. In an apples-to-apples, year-over-year comparison, private sector jobs increased by 12,400 since last July to 551,800 in July 2011, and public sector jobs in state and local government increased by 700 to 76,700 positions.

If you do the math (628,500 / 76,700 = 8.19), there are roughly 8 people working in private-sector jobs to support one person working in a state or local government job. Republicans still need to focus on private-sector job creation so more people are supporting fewer government positions. The economy will improve as a result.
Just to be clear, though, when Republicans say they want to “reduce the size and scope of government,” that means they plan to reduce the number of available government positions, which many times are vacant or unneeded. The job losses reported by Democrats in the New Hampshire Legal Assistance program, the New Hampshire Court System, New Hampshire Public Television and the State of New Hampshire in general were necessary reductions in government positions to give private-sector taxpayers a much-needed break. Democrats, thrown out for four years of excessive government spending, would have you paying ever-higher taxes and fees year-in and year-out, which has been shown to cause job losses in the private sector.

With continuing Republican leadership, government department heads should start thinking of more efficient ways of providing the same services, because the state is still far too large in New Hampshire, and more cuts have got to be made to make room for real tax and fee relief. This is a good thing. Government jobs do nothing to produce wealth or stimulate a healthy economy, while at the same time they destroy wealth for the people who actually produce it in the private sector. The people who might work in government jobs can do better working in the private sector or coming up with an innovative idea to start a company of their own. The economy will benefit from this transformation, although it will take time.

New Hampshire employs more public sector employees per capita than the average U.S. State. Does the Democrats’ idea of job creation mean that everyone will work in a government job or a position supported by taxpayer dollars? If so, who is going to produce all the wealth needed to pay for those jobs—particularly when those still working in the private sector are facing expanded bureaucratic hurdles enforced by an army of government employees with nothing better to do than make it harder for people to do business. The Democrats’ idea of job creation is simply not sustainable. On the other hand, Republicans are working to build an affordable and sustainable government that fosters job growth and development. They’re just getting started.

As you relax at the beach or in the mountains this Labor Day vacation, take a moment to consider how employment statistics are starting to signal a growing private sector in New Hampshire, and if that trend continues, the people will have no one but the Republicans to thank in 2012.

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