Issue Position: Role of Government

Issue Position

By:  Jerry Stern
Location: Unknown

Living within Its Means: A Government as Good as the Citizens it Serves

As legislators, we have a responsibility to ensure we create a government that sustains and nourishes people's dreams, not impede them with endless regulation and red tape. I have always believed that government can do a few things well, but it cannot do everything. Unfortunately, many policymakers rely on government as a permanent form of personal empowerment. Government programs do not have the power to lift people up and put hope in a person's heart -- only one's personal initiative and empowerment can accomplish this task. It is time we leave the era of government as the answer to all of society's problems. Government can be a tremendous force for good in society, but only when partnered with other social entities. It is time for government to work with private organizations, charities, and houses of faith to create a shared environment of empowerment.

My guidance for government's role comes from the preamble to the United States Constitution. Government establishes justice, ensures domestic tranquility, and provides for the common defense. Our citizens deserve first class law enforcement and military protection. In an age of international terrorism, any place could be a potential target and this is why I have advocated for veterans, our military men and women, and our law enforcement officers. Government must promote the general welfare by ensuring that the rights and liberties of citizens are protected. The welfare of our citizens is also protected by fostering the economic conditions necessary for job growth and business development. Lower taxes, modest government spending, and low amounts of debt are the canons to ensuring that a healthy economy sustains the goals and dreams of all citizens. Only when we ensure that government lives to serve the citizens and not the other way around will we satisfactorily promote the general welfare.

Since joining the General Assembly in 1993, I have championed this philosophy for governance in the legislation I have worked for and the issues I have advocated. I firmly believe in creating an environment of empowerment that utilizes the strengths of the individual spirit to accomplish magnificent goals. This is why I have consistently opposed higher taxes on individuals and businesses, higher debt for future generations, and fought to keep the growth and spending of government under control. Government must take a lesson in fiscal responsibility from the families of Pennsylvania and we, as legislators, must take a lesson to create a state government that lives within its means.