Business / Opinion / Politics

Dispatch from the American South

AMAC Exclusive

americanFrom the Continental Army’s Siege of Yorktown to the Freedom Riders’ arrival at the Greyhound bus station in Birmingham, Alabama, the South has been America’s proving ground. This is where competing visions of America’s destiny have met and been tested.

Today, the South is once again the battleground where the fight for a “more perfect union” is taking place.

Last week, we brought you an update from the American West, where conservative leaders are making important progress that is going unreported by the national media.

This week, we turn our attention to Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

There, we find pro-jobs, pro-freedom, and pro-American governors and state legislators who are standing up to arbitrary regulations, cutting taxes, and lifting their people from dependence, unemployment, and poverty to independence, jobs, and prosperity.

From the Tidewater to the Mississippi River delta, it’s where pro-liberty newsmakers drive the agenda.

Here is the good news from the American South.

In Florida, the legislature is considering a bill that would increase unemployment benefits even further, from $275 per week to $375. But Governor Ron DeSantis has thrown cold water on the idea. In a press conference, DeSantis unambiguously affirmed his opposition to the bill. When asked, he said directly, “Look, no. I think we’re getting people back to work.”

It’s good to see a Governor who knows the solution to unemployment is not more handouts but more paychecks.

In Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed SB 153, which waives the initial filing fees, permit fees, and licensing fees for new businesses for low-income Arkansans. The bill explains that “families trying to break the cycle of government dependency should not have to pay the state to earn a living.”

Even left-leaning news outlets like the New York Times and left-leaning think tanks like the Brookings Institution have published work explaining how the decline in new business start-ups drags down America’s economy.  The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have sparked a small but measurable comeback for new business formation across the world. But economists still worry that this represents an anomaly in an otherwise consistent decline in new businesses, which historically drive innovation and job creation.

Arkansas’ bill is designed to kill two birds with one stone—helping families escape poverty while boosting economic activity at the same time.

In Kentucky, the legislature has provided businesses with liability protection from COVID-related lawsuits. In the interest of fully reopening the economy as quickly as possible, SB 5 shields businesses from lawsuits in which it’s claimed that someone contracted the COVID virus while at the business.

Despite a few objections that cases deserve to be judged individually in court, the legislature passed the bill overwhelmingly, 70-27. As Representative Chad McCoy explained, the bill was an attempt to let small businesses feel that the legislature “had their back” and could reopen with confidence.

In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill to allow home delivery of alcohol from in-state retailers, including beer, wine, and liquor deliveries. Residents and drivers will still need to present identification that proves their legal drinking age. Mississippi is one of many states that is clearing the books of old regulations to allow for new ways of doing business, including when it comes to getting residents the refreshments of their choice in a timely and convenient manner.

Finally, in North Carolina, the legislature is poised to eliminate taxes on the goods and services businesses paid for using federal money from the Paycheck Protection Program. Forty-seven states already do not collect taxes on these purchases, which sprang from a deliberate attempt to increase private-sector spending.

As one restaurant owner explained, “Two weeks into the shutdown, we were doing considerable takeout business and still losing $2,000 a day.” After PPP money arrived on Friday, his two restaurants “brought back 85 percent of our workers on Saturday.” According to business owners and legislators, leveling taxes on those expenses now would punish those who spent the money as they were supposed to.

Democrats may have undivided control of Congress and the White House in Washington–but they do not control the Governors and state houses of the American South. State-level leaders there are making common-sense conservative reforms–and more are surely on the way.

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Glee
3 months ago

Tennessee, where are you and why is your governor so silent?

Mimi
3 months ago

Thanks be to God, that there are still bastions of “common sense” still alive and well in America!!

Jon VANDER SCHOUW
3 months ago
Reply to  Mimi

That commonsense began with the writers of the Constitution supporting States Rights!

Tony Robe
3 months ago

Republicans want to give citizens help and pride at starting or maintaining their own business. Democrats want to give them other people’s money to get their allegiance at voting time.

Fairfield 59
3 months ago

I love my Governor! Gov. DeSantis has displayed courage and reopened our state when others said NO its not safe. We opened carefully and evaluated every step. Yes, we had a few hiccups along the way and still we got there. Now with the Federal hand outs employers cannot find employees. There is a local Mickey D’s or Wawa (I believe) advertising for new employees with a $500 bonus and another $75 bonus if you are vaccinated! Stop the Federal hand outs.

Rick
3 months ago
Reply to  Fairfield 59

Gov. DeSantis ROCKS! My family and I chose to vacation in FL in June and support the wonderful job he and the good people of FL are doing. We are also supporting AR, NC, MS and KY businesses where we can and buying from them more and more, as well as visit them this year.

Ruth A Lance
3 months ago
Reply to  Fairfield 59

Yeah, he’s my governor too. And I love him too. He governs our state for the people.

Kim
3 months ago

I live in North Carolina, and caught some of Governor Roy Cooper’s speech last night. He took great joy in proclaiming that the state is flush with cash and that, earlier in the day, Apple had announced a billion dollar investment near the state capital for their east coast headquarters and manufacturing plant.

So, where are these revenues going? Cooper gleefully announced more infrastructure! Pay more for teachers, rural internet, pre-school programs (for early indoctrination)! The Republican response reminded our democrat governor that that is the people’s money, and rightfully belongs to us!

Gov. Cooper has disappointed us before, such as when the state voted in favor of photo ID’s at the polls, but which he vetoed. With so many people moving here from democrat-leaning northern cities, we are now a purple state, although the state legislature is still Republican majority. I just wish all those immigrants would consider what their votes will do to this beautiful state. The dem stance on restaurant closings during the pandemic, for example, killed half the restaurants in this state.

PaulE
3 months ago
Reply to  Kim

Sounds like your Governor outlined the standard spending priorities of Democrats. Not surprising since he is one. Remember, Democrats view your money as really theirs. They just let you keep a little of it if you behave and comply with their mandates and wishes. They have always viewed themselves as being far better suited to decide how money should be spent than the peons that actually make it through work and productive labor.

As for your state being turned purple by the influx of migrating Democrats from bankrupt Democrat-run states, I’ve been mentioning that threat to all red states for several years on this site. You have to realize that most Democrat voters can’t connect the dots when it comes to supporting bad economic and social policies and the resulting economic destruction of the states where those policies and laws are enacted. It’s like part of their brain doesn’t register the connection between the two. They just move to a lower cost, well run state and begin voting the exact same way they did in the state they left. Then they are completely clueless as to why their new home state begins to look just like the state they fled. The old saying from Forest Gump of “You can’t fix stupid” really is applicable to a large part of Americans.

Last edited 3 months ago by PaulE
Kim
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

As large population increases to the growing states create new seats in the House of Representatives, I fear that the blue wave could swamp the conservatives. So, we’re going to have to look elsewhere to grow the party. We must get out a convincing message, and, fortunately, Biden is helping us out on that score. DeSantis, Cruz, Paul and others need to keep up the strong rhetoric, and actually change people’s minds.

John Wesley
3 months ago
Reply to  Kim

As Doc Savage says, “Liberalism is a mental disease.” I don’t see you changing the mind of a crazy person. In my experience, they will not change their false beliefs.

Kim
3 months ago
Reply to  John Wesley

I don’t think all on the other side are crazy, and I disagree with you that we can’t change their minds. Many of them are simply ignorant of the facts, thanks to the pervasive MSM and the dem promise to reward voters handsomely if they pledge their votes. Look at Candace Owens and Brandon Straka (sp?), former progressives who are now very vocal in their support for conservative ideals. Their narrative is convincing.

During the Tea Party days, more than a decade ago, I attended many rallies in Washington, D.C. I was approached by “doubters”, or I approached them, and we often had civil discussions on why the ACA, unions, and public education, for example, were not good for the country. As long as we can logically, persuasively, and calmly discuss the issues, most will listen. I know some have changed their minds on these topics.

Nina Rae
3 months ago
Reply to  Kim

I have seen this happen in Oregon & Washington state, and it is what’s happening in Nevada, Utah & Arizona now!! Fleeing Californians bringing their Democrat ideas like excess baggage. They haven’t learned a thing!

Jerry Harmon
3 months ago

Paychecks not socialist handouts!

Jeanette Wojtas
3 months ago

Great..we need to get people back to work!

Robert White
3 months ago

The way to go is private companies. Growth of business leads to jobs and growth of middle class.

Hillensbeck
3 months ago

Good information! I now feel there is hope for America! We need to stand up not lay down and let the left run over us!!!

John Wesley
3 months ago
Reply to  Hillensbeck

As long as there is beer and sports (making a strong comeback) there is no hope for America.

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