More jobs, less government

More jobs, less government

Guest Editorial

by Steve Daines

August 11, 2010

Creating private sector jobs in Montana is essential to stabilize the economy and help struggling/working families.  While out of control federal spending and accompanying high personal and corporate tax rates are a significant barrier, there are some examples of entrepreneurial job creation in Montana, but we need many more.

I work for RightNow Technologies, a software company located in Bozeman. It is a good example of how to create jobs and keep people working in Montana.  Founded and headquartered in Bozeman, this software company has 16 offices around the world with 900 employees. Nearly 500 of these jobs are in Bozeman, making RightNow the largest commercial employer in the Gallatin Valley.

And here is some more good news: last quarter RightNow hired 70 people. These are not temporary workers. These are not government jobs. These are not low paying jobs. RightNow’s average Bozeman wage is approximately $70,000 per year, plus good benefits.

RightNow did this because their business is growing, and they carefully manage spending and income. They did this because they provide employees an incentive to grow the business, and innovate and seek out new markets across the globe. Their international sales bring dollars into Montana’s economy and contribute to the reduction of our nation’s trade deficit.  It’s this type of management and responsibility that results in the creation of more good paying jobs in the private sector, a vibrant economy, and a stronger America.

RightNow hired 70 people last quarter not because of any stimulus spending, and in spite of Washington’s over reach into so many private sector arenas, including the auto, banking, and health care industries, to name a few. The government cannot spend, tax and regulate its way to economic prosperity. Our government leaders are out of touch with the realities of how jobs are created, innovation is promoted, and costs and spending are controlled.  When Congress imposes policies that create long term uncertainty like health care reform, it causes many potential employers to adopt a wait and see attitude on hiring. Instead of stimulating the economy, Congress is slowing it down.

If RightNow  managed its business the same way our current Washington D.C. leaders —  both Democrat and Republican — manage our government, they would be out of business—and not making a positive contribution to our economy and the well being of their employees and families.

Americans are fed up with the collision course we are on – an unprecedented passion to spend money we don’t have, which is adding to our already existing avalanche of debt and crushing our long term competiveness in a global economy.

The most recent White House forecast projects a $1.5 trillion deficit for 2010 and trillion-plus numbers for the next several years. This is three times greater than the deficit we had in 2008, which at that time was a record for our nation, a mere $455 billion. Our national debt is $13 trillion, and forecasted to grow to nearly $20 trillion by 2015.  Our unfunded liability (federal government financial obligations less anticipated tax revenues) is more than $50 trillion, and rapidly growing.

The American dream– where mom and dad work hard, pay off the mortgage and give the kids the ranch– is vanishing. Today’s reality is that our politicians have mortgaged our ranch and saddling our kids with a massive and crippling debt.

We must ensure and restore the American way with a system that provides incentives for hard work, for innovation, and for productivity. People must have incentives to take risk,  expand small business, and hire more workers. We must remove incentives that promote idleness and discourage risk taking.  To do this, we must cut back government spending and the overall size of government.  As with the family budget, and small and large businesses alike, the federal and state government must stop spending money they do not have.

We need more job creation stories in Montana.  We need leaders who understand what it takes to create employment opportunities in the private sector.  I think we could all use a good dose of more jobs and less government.

Steve Daines is a fifth generation Montanan, and Vice President and General Manager of Asia-Pacific for Bozeman-based RightNow Technologies, and was a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2008.

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