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A Publication of WTVP

I believe in a limited government that is responsive to its citizens— one that allows individuals to pursue, achieve and realize their goals and dreams. That’s how our great country has been built and has prospered. Unbridled growth of government, on the other hand, can limit our opportunities and our freedoms.

It’s the growth of government and its power that is at the core of the budget deadlock we have experienced this legislative session in Springfield. At a time when the state of Illinois cannot meet its current financial obligations, we have a governor who wants to expand state programs with no way to pay for them.

Where would the new billions of dollars come from? Essentially it would come from all of us—job providers, working family households and retirees alike—and at a time when higher utility, transportation and food costs are threatening the quality of life of many.

Even though we have thus far defeated the gross receipts tax and the sale of state assets like the lottery, the Democratic majority in the General Assembly has already passed $300 million of additional annual taxes on business. What will the true cost of these taxes be to our area over time? How many current jobs may be lost or future jobs not offered? And where will the money be squandered?

Sometimes these wake-up calls are helpful. We know that government doesn’t always get it right, so we must be willing to get involved and control our own destiny. Government only has the power we allow it to have.

Citizens spoke out against the GRT, and the Illinois House defeated it 107-0. The agricultural community acted swiftly several years ago and plowed under the governor’s proposed state tax on ag inputs. People across America told Congress recently they wanted secure borders before supporting immigration policy changes. Not only can we make a difference—we must.

Our federal and state governments are remote and less responsive as a result. Local government is the guy or gal down the street, the people you see in the check-out line or in the next pew. Whereas local government is by far the best level of government, so too is local business the best investment we can make for the future.

The growth of our communities usually comes from within. Government spends a lot of time talking about attracting outside growth, but it is local entrepreneurs who are diligently planning and investing in our area’s next growth spurts.

Prosperity is ours to be had! Let’s be optimistic about our future! Let’s encourage and give the doers, the thinkers and the dreamers a helping hand—but let’s remember that it’s crucial that government remains open and responsive to its citizens and an advocate for economic growth that does not put its burdens on the taxpayer.

Public input is always good. We should never fear or disregard it, because the cost of doing so is the loss of public confidence, goodwill and support. IBI

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