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Luetkemeyer Column- Celebrating the American Worker


Location: Washington, DC

As we all prepare to celebrate the American worker on Labor Day, it seems appropriate that we recognize the wisdom in Ronald Reagan's words and seek to restore the pride that still drives this nation but is being slowly eroded by the current policies of our government.

To put it bluntly, the president's economic policies have failed and are making the economy worse. American workers want to be gainfully employed and they don't believe that government is the answer to all their problems. Particularly disturbing to many folks is the politically divisive argument about hard-working folks not paying their fair share.

According to a recent Resurgent Republic study, most Americans do not buy into the president's vision of fairness. That report showed that 57 percent of Americans agree with the proposition that the government's role should instead be to "promote opportunity."

I expect to hear from a lot of folks throughout the 9th District this Labor Day who are still stinging from the president's recent claim that: "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." For myself, and many others who have spent their lives building a business through sacrifice and hard work, that comment was a slap in the face.

Despite what the president may claim, I believe that the American worker has always earned success. The notion of a day's work for a day's wages and the inherent nobility of taking home a paycheck and providing for your family is a fundamental part of the American spirit. Without that notion of hard-work, innovation, and the motivation to succeed, our country will find itself in the same bad situation that many European countries are now struggling to escape.

To me, that is a troubling thought. At a time when our unemployment rate has exceeded 8 percent for more than three years in a row and our small businesses and job creators are mired in an economic slump fostered by the failed policies of this president, we must remember that promoting economic opportunity should be the foundation of our future success.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., observed: "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."

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