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ALEC on Newstalk STL Radio: People are Looking for Economic Opportunity

"People are looking for opportunity. No one is knocking down the doors to try to go into other countries. They're not trying to get into Venezuela. They're trying to come to America."

ALEC Executive Vice President of Policy and Chief Economist Jonathan Williams recently joined hosts Tim Jones and Christopher Arps of Newstalk STL in St. Louis, Mo. to talk about the latest big government policies coming out of Washington and the limited government solutions coming from the states. Below are some highlights of the conversation.

Host: Many of the people coming across our southern border are fleeing socialism, communism and dictatorships, and coming to the biggest land of capitalism on planet earth.

Jonathan Williams: Migration patterns are a big part of what we look at in our annual ranking of the states by economic competitiveness, Rich States, Poor States.  People are looking for opportunity. No one is knocking down the doors to get into Venezuela, for instance, illegally. They’re trying to come to America. You can’t fault them for wanting to escape the socialist basket cases of countries that they’re leaving. They’re coming for opportunity.

Host: Jonathan, we’ve had a couple of bad economic reports this week. I think the GDP  prediction for 2023 was revised down but I think just a little over 1%. And then today, we talked about the stock the Fed raising interest rates, the stock market dropping 500 points today. Are we at the tip of the spear when it comes to bad numbers in the economy or you think we’re going to have the so called soft landing that we were that the Fed was promising?

Jonathan Williams: This is the penalty and the price coming due and the government policies that have been successful, unfortunately, in a political way, for far too long in Washington. Now the bill is coming due, and it’s coming due in a very painful way for a lot of folks who are looking to buy their homes for the first time, maybe small businesses who now are having problems getting capital in order to grow their business, or new businesses that are starting up.

These were some shocking new numbers. By the way, this so-called Inflation Reduction Act just raised taxes on small businesses and hardworking Americans across the board. In addition, this could mean an additional 87,000 new IRS agents to raise $200 billion more for government coffers. Janet Yellen with a straight face the other day said that this was going to be for taxpayer support. So if this was all about answering the phone call when we call them had a question with their taxes? That how they are going to make $200 billion more in federal government revenue? I mean, that’s the kind of question that I think should keep small businesses awake at night. Entrepreneurs, gig economy workers, that’s where they’re going after to get this $200 billion from the IRS.

Host: Generally, what do you think is the consensus among state legislators that you work with of what they expect will be the number one issue in next year’s legislative sessions?

Jonathan Williams: There’s a couple of big ones and one gets to directly what we were just talking about.  State leaders realize there’s nothing positive happening in Washington for at least a couple of years.  Gridlock maybe the best case scenario, if conservatives take over the House. States are using their own powers. This is great for all of us who believe in federalism and moving the ball forward, just like folks in Jefferson City are talking about cutting taxes here in Missouri.