Also Urges Sending
Reps. Hawk, Faison
Back To Legislature
BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
One of the state's top Republican leaders said Monday that the goal of preserving and reinvigorating a job-creating free enterprise system is at the core of why small business-owners should look to presidential candidate Mitt Romney to led the economic recovery.
Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, brought this message on Monday to a group of local business women who doubled the size of the average monthly gathering of the Greene County Republican Women's Club.
The club met at noon at the General Morgan Inn to recognize local businesswomen for their impact on the community.
At least 30 businesswomen were in attendance, in addition to numerous public officials and members of the community.
The club also welcomed state Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, and state Rep. Jeremey Faison, R-11th, of Cosby, who introduced Harwell with great praise for how she had helped him as a freshman legislator.
In return, Harwell also praised Greene County's two state representatives, saying, "They are men of integrity, and they work hard for the folks back home."
THE POLITICS GAME
Harwell opened her address with an illustration of a game she said she used to have her college Political Science students play, in which she separated them into three groups, gave them chips and rules and let them barter and trade.
Eventually, one group would, by luck, end up with more chips, she said. At that point, she would halt the game and announce that the group with the most chips could set the rules for the rest of the game.
That group, without fail, would change the rules to ensure its members kept the most valuable chips, she noted, creating a parallel between the game and politics.
"Business-owners have a lot to win or lose by who's making up the rules for the rest of the game," Harwell said.
For November's coming presidential election, there are two choices business owners can make, she added.
On one hand, with President Barack Obama, Harwell said there is the idea of more government and a demoralizing and "almost demonizing" of the word "profit."
She described this as a growing belief that business owners should minimize profit and maximize social impact, an idea that prompted shudders and gasps of disapproval around the room.
"He took the opportunity to tell you as a business-owner, 'You didn't build that,'" Harwell noted.
"Now, I know that we sometimes can take that out of context, but really, the basic philosophy is certainly one that somehow the government is the only way you're ever going to be successful."
"When you think about it, it is almost insulting that we would allow the President of the United States to tell us that the government has to be involved in order for you, as a business-owner, to be successful," she added.
'LEAVE ME ALONE'
In contrast, she said Tennessee and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney operate on the ideas of protecting a free market and freedoms while promoting responsibility.
Harwell said Tennessee heard the message from business-owners asking for government to simply leave them alone.
She said the state responded by lifting some of the regulations and restrictions and not adding any more forms and hoops in order to aid businesses.
"We realize that when you can make a profit, that is good for the entire state," Harwell said, noting that businesses making a profit can mean more jobs.
Now, she noted that the state is ranked number four on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce list of best states to own or operate a business.
"When I see that
there is a proper role of government, I also realize that you have to have the right philosophy for
that proper role -- and I think Mitt Romney has it," she said. "I think he shares with all of
"I don't want more people on government programs. I want less people to need government programs because we have an economy where they can work and thrive."
TENNCARE AND OBAMACARE
Finally, Harwell said the presidential election is also about the right for the states to maintain their powers under the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
"President Romney said it better than anyone when he said the state governments are the incubator for what should be happening in government, and he is right," Harwell said.
"We've messed around with Obamacare a little bit in this state, and we called it TennCare," she added. "There was a proper role for TennCare. We need to have a safety net for those people who can't provide for themselves, without a doubt.
"But you can't let a program become so massive that it consumes your entire budget."
She described scaling back TennCare "difficult" and "pain-striking," saying that it is always difficult to remove entitlements.
This work was part of the result of a balanced and reduced budget, a restored rainy-day fund, and lowered taxes that Tennessee achieved this past year, she added.
"That record could not be accomplished if you didn't send people like David Hawk and Jeremy Faison to Nashville," she concluded.
"While Obama tells business men and women they didn't do anything to earn it, your Tennessee legislators know who will bring this economy back.
"It will be the small-business-owners in this great state."
Harwell received two standing ovations from the women's club.
HAWK AND FAISON
The club also heard from Rep. Hawk, who said he had the ability to relate to small-business-owners because of his having run a small business with his family in the past.
As for his bid for reelection, Hawk noted that "90 percent of success is not giving up."
"We're going to win to represent Greene County in the Tennessee legislature," he said, thanking those present for their support.
Rep. Faison also spoke, noting the work the legislature has done in his first term to fight drugs and aid job growth, which he said are the two main issues on the minds of many Tennesseans.
"I hear more frustration about jobs and drugs than anything," he said.
Faison encouraged those present to vote for him, or if they live in the 5th District, to vote for Hawk so that they can carry on with their work in Nashville.