Town hall topic strikes at heart of American crisis

The point made at a recent town hall meeting sponsored by Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey was reasonable.

A Danville resident made it clear to Toomey, a Zionsville Republican, that a family can’t be sustained on jobs that pay $9 or $10 an hour. And he pointed out that jobs aren’t as plentiful because many companies are taking them overseas.

Toomey agreed with the resident’s points. But then he explained the problem. Start with an overly complicated tax code that is sorely in need of reform. Add in repeated tax hikes on both individuals and businesses that take away from the disposable income available. And finish with the stark reality that Toomey pointed out: America has the highest business taxes in the world.

“That’s a big incentive to put corporate headquarters overseas,” Toomey said.

Unfortunately, those highest business taxes in the world will remain necessary to sustain a budget that is $17 trillion in debt. Until that debt is brought under control, American busines will continue suffocating from the weight of supporting a too-fat government budget plan.

We all want to see more high-paying jobs. But they don’t happen at the snap of fingers.

It takes a practical approach to government spending. Unfortunately, that has never gone hand-in-hand with the approach now in vogue in the White House, an approach that calls for the government to get its hands on everything from health care to housing.

The solution is actually quite simple: Let the private sector flourish by minimizing regulation and limiting taxes to reasonable levels. Let competition return, creating competition for consumer dollars and job applicants. That’s what the country was founded on and those were the seeds that helped it grow into an economic giant.

The opposite that now dominates may be well-intentioned. But it hasn’t worked with any sustainable success anywhere and won’t work in the future.

It’s time that Americans who know better stand up with political courage and talk honestly about what’s needed to get this country’s economic model back where it’s supposed to be without fear of political consequence. The cause is much larger than an election or two. The cause is our future as a country with worldly importance.

We’re on the precipice of becoming just another country. Is that what we want?