A few weeks ago, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) spoke at the UGA College Republicans’ weekly meeting. An advocate of the FairTax, Congressman Woodall represents fiscal conservatism and exudes a passion for American ideals unrivaled by many speakers.
One thing the Congressman said at the conclusion of the meeting has been circling in my head for some time. He asked the roughly 100 college students in attendance why, in a non-election season, we convene weekly to discuss politics. What makes us show up week after week when this is by some definitions an “off-season?” After much thought, this is what I believe.
Although one can argue that campaigns and elections have off-seasons, it is difficult to name another aspect of life that can be put on hold. Businesses do not have off-seasons — for business owners who not only support their families but create jobs for others, the idea of an off-season is absurd. Business owners whose jobs are becoming more difficult due to the increasing number of government regulations do not have an off-season: federal regulations with direct impacts on small businesses have increased from 788 in 2005 to 854 in 2012, according to a Forbes study. Data from the Small Business Association indicates that in 2008, Federal regulations cost businesses a total of $970 billion, with economic regulations costing $618 billion and tax compliance regulations costing a staggering $96 billion. Business owners facing these costs must choose between two options: they can either power through a tough economy and the ups-and-downs of business cycles to keep the economy running, or temporarily withhold reinvestment in the company and hold on to profits. This is a difficult but inevitable decision business owners face in the current, less-than-ideal economic climate. It is necessary for small business-supporting fiscal conservatives to promote a reduction in business regulations to ensure that entrepreneurs are encouraged and their ideas valued.
THE EDITORS: More than anything, it needs two-a-days.
Conservatism cannot have an off-season. If an individual, family or small business handled its finances as the federal government does, it would be hauled to court.
Irresponsible budgeting and an ever-rising deficit are unsustainable practices that do not work in the private world, so why should the government — supposedly accountable to the people — lay their irresponsible practices at the feet of taxpaying citizens? To name an infamous example, a $535 million federal grant was given to the startup solar panel company Solyndra just in time for it to collapse, leaving taxpayers with yet another wasteful government check to cover. The total United States debt is currently at 106 percent of GDP, an astonishing amount that is only projected to rise, barring serious fiscal restraint.
Learning responsibility at a young age is vital to the well-being of individuals and, in the aggregate, to the well-being of societies. With the ruling entity of the most powerful nation on earth handling its money in such an irresponsible manner, we set a very dangerous example for our youngest Americans — future business owners, future public servants, future educators and future parents.
The students that attend College Republicans meetings show up week after week because we know the bandwagon must be pulled by young conservatives who believe in a stronger America, regardless of the election cycle. We believe that America is the greatest nation on this planet; we believe America’s best days are ahead. The promotion of values that encourage, not punish, success and accomplishment will never diminish in importance. We must never cease to emphasize the importance of taking care of ourselves and those in need, rather than relying on the government.
There is no off-season when preparing for the future.
—Pfeiffer Middleton is a junior studying political science and international affairs. She is the Greek Outreach Co-Director of the UGA College Republicans.
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