The question I have been asked most since taking the position of Executive Vice President of CRI is, “What is the Caesar Rodney Institute’s biggest goal for the coming year.” It is a great question, so let me answer it.
CRI’s ultimate goal, for 2010 or any year, is to advance the debate over how our state should be governed. We believe in a competitive free market economy where those who have the ambition are given the incentives to work hard and create jobs. We do not believe that the government ought to be in the job creation business. What made our economy the envy of the nation for a generation was the freedom that commerce and industry were given to generate wealth in a market based fashion, where jobs exploded onto the scene because the products of our businesses were in high demand. Conversely, the cause of our recent decline in economic prowess includes a reliance on the state to provide jobs at an alarming rate of 500 per year over the last eight years, coupled with an incremental stifling of the private sector through excessive regulation and tax burden; the most recent instance being the Fiscal Year 2010 budget passed last year. Juxtaposed to an alarming rate of spending growth since the 1990’s, these instruments of an over reaching state government have landed a heavy blow to the entrepreneurial spirit of our population.
We also believe that individual liberty cannot exist, in its rightful capacity, alongside of an ever-increasing and bloated state government. The best government exists in its smallest, most efficient manner possible. Only when the people of this great state are free to come and go, free to take risks, free expand their own horizons, will this state once again flourish.
I will gauge CRI’s success in 2010 as a function of how far that message has resonated. And, we need your help to get there. We win when the policy coming out of Dover is consistent with a good, constitutional government. It is not about specific legislation, rather a systematic change in the mindset of those we send to do the people’s business. Somewhere along the way, we have lost our sense of individual initiative and enterprise and have replaced it with an unhealthy reliance on the state to solve our problems. The battle we wage is for the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens. We must remind them that the government does not provide solutions. In fact, the government is that entity which gets in our way and establishes the problems that we must deal with on a daily basis. If I could change one thing, about Delaware government, it would be to recall its proper place in our lives and not to consider its citizens as unable to live and function without its influence.