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Americans for Prosperity West Virginia State Director Jason Huffman | Charleston Gazette-Mail
The U.S. economy is booming, resulting in the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. That’s great news for families across the country looking for economic opportunities that will make their version of the American Dream a reality.
Sadly, folks looking to do the same in the Mountain State aren’t so lucky. While there are pockets of progress, too many West Virginians are missing out on the strongest U.S. economy in our lifetime.
Why? Because, for decades, a good-old-boy system drove out competition and any hope for economic diversity. The state government created a top-down, protectionist-driven regulatory system that served its interests over that of the common people.
We know what works. Instead of top-down mandates, bottom-up approaches that empower individuals to find and enact solutions are more practical and effective.
First, we must prioritize reforming our outdated and two-tiered criminal justice system. We must focus on reforming sentencing so that the punishment truly fits the crime. Policies should restore victims, and laws should be smart on crime and soft on taxpayers. President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan First Step Act, which allows people who have paid their debt to society a second chance, and we should look to make similar reforms in West Virginia.
West Virginians deserve an economy that works for everyone — where every person can earn success and live a meaningful life. But, too often, well-intentioned rules and regulations get in the way and are implemented without an accurate understanding of the impact they have on everyday West Virginians’ lives and wallets. Creating a Legislative Office of Fiscal and Regulatory Affairs would provide lawmakers and citizens with unbiased knowledge on the real impact of regulations to help them make smarter decisions for our state.
If you want to turn the state around in five years, instead of 25, join us. These and other proven solutions will get West Virginians back on the path to prosperity.
Click here to read the full op-ed.