For the Record - April 26, 2010

Supervisor Bill Horn
Fifth District

For the Record

April 26, 2010

Less Government and More Freedom

Most of my life has been in the private business sector with primary interests in agriculture. I’ve seen business cycles come and go ranging from all systems “go,” to troubled times. Our current economic malaise may be the worst.

Compounding the problem for the County of San Diego is the way the federal and state governments do business. While we have balanced the County budget by not spending money we don’t have and built a reserve, we continue to have Washington and Sacramento steal millions of local tax dollars by under funding mandated programs. Their solutions to fiscal emergencies are higher taxes, government bail outs and onerous laws coupled with suffocating regulations that make the business climate downright hostile. The result: fewer tax dollars, higher unemployment and crippling debt.

Some of our local elected state and federal delegation members listen to our suggestions; however, with the current balance of power, prospects for positive change in how business is done up north and back east are bleak.

Even so, I am optimistic that citizens will unite to hold those in Sacramento and Washington accountable for their destructive actions. I say that because there are many people who share my call for fiscal responsibility in government. Some of them send me letters and with his permission, I’d like to share the thoughts of Robert Basso, a San Diegan who, for 55 years has owned Century Design, a small manufacturing company.

He sent a list of issues he faces as a small business owner that explain why companies stop manufacturing products in the U.S. and have them made overseas. He gave 56 reasons—too many to list in this format; however, they include:

  • Having to digest thousands of pages of ADA (American Disability Act) and California ADI regulations
  • Frivolous law suits
  • Union negotiations and disputes
  • Worker’s compensation issues
  • A steady stream of increases taxes
  • Environmental extremism

Mr. Basso wrote: “In 1955, businesses in San Diego were easy to establish which encouraged a great wave of entrepreneurship and inventiveness that were part of the California scene. This was the place to be if you had a good idea! Taxes were low percentage wise, burdensome, obstructive restrictions and regulations were mostly non-existent.”
“Business owners should be spending their time on new sales, new products, and business expansion which would create more employment rather than trying to decipher and comply with the ever increasing glut of regulations which stifle employment.”

“Profit is not a dirty word! Profit means jobs, returns on investments, research and development, and the capital to expand and hire even more workers in an ever increasing upward spiral.”

“I am a second generation American whose grandparents immigrated here in the 1880’s. . . They brought with them the spirit of hard work, love of their new country, and rock solid family values.”

“It would not matter if I were the last manufacturer in this great land. I will not allow misguided, misinformed, naïve politicians to force me to abandon the American principles of innovation, creativity, and our ‘can do’ philosophy.”

(To read the entire letter, we have posted it on our District 5 webpage athttp://billhorn.clouadapp.net/resources/letter20100319)

I appreciate Mr. Basso’s words of experience and passion. At the County, our efforts to bring a more business friendly climate for local companies include offering a preference percentage for bidders within San Diego County and no fee to be part of our BuyNet at http://buynet.sdcounty.ca.gov/. We also participate in various workshop events on doing business with the County and on May 13th at the Sheraton Hotel in Carlsbad, I will host a large gathering of contractors and business professionals. The focus will center on upcoming construction jobs and the future of growth in San Diego County.

Right now San Diego County’s unemployment rate is reportedly about 11 percent. The percentage of people under-employed is likely far greater.

Less government and more freedom: the more I can do to support those concepts and people like Robert Basso, the faster we will return our local economy to all systems “go” instead of business going elsewhere.



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