OpEd: Who will rebuild Pennsylvania?

Many new lessons have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most important lessons for me was reinforcement of ideals about the role of government in our lives. An overreaching and intrusive government, no matter how well intended, will always create more problems than it solves.

If you want a glimpse into what government-run health care would look like, take note of the vaccine rollout.

If you want a glimpse into what happens when government says it will take care of you and provide for your needs, take note of the ineffectiveness of our unemployment compensation system.

Then there is the issue of all the business closures since the pandemic began. To see what happens when centralized government makes decisions about which businesses can stay open and which ones must close, all we have to do is look at the state’s flawed and disastrous waiver system.

Yes, each loss of life has been a tragedy. COVID-19 has been a tragedy. There will always be tragedies, disease and natural disasters. However, government should never trade one public health crisis for another.

Government should never compound a tragedy by creating an environment where the citizens of the Commonwealth are not permitted to make a living, receive an education or pursue their dreams.

Resiliency and spirit of the people

I believe in the resiliency and spirit of the people in this great Commonwealth. They will be the reason Pennsylvania comes through these trying times. Government must have a supporting role not a primary one, however.

Look at the restaurant owner who has turned that key day after day, wondering if she’ll have enough money to make payroll; who invested in plexiglass to separate booths and instituted a take-out service never before tried while adjusting to ever changing regulations on her industry. She will be able to rise from the ashes and save not just her business, but her dreams.

She will be the reason Pennsylvania comes back.

Look at the single dad who was laid off when construction was shut down and spent every day looking for a job to support the children he was also teaching at home. He has found his way back into the workforce by a pure will to provide for his family.

He will be the reason Pennsylvania comes back.

I truly believe if we restore the freedoms of our citizens and do not impose the largest tax increase in the history of Pennsylvania while they try to claw back from these unprecedented times, we will see the economic, emotional and public health recovery that we all so desperately desire.

The House Republicans fundamentally believe government action is not always the answer. But when it is, it must be limited in its size and scope.

Who will rebuild Pennsylvania?
Rep. Jesse Topper

Rep. Jesse Topper represents the 78th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He is a Republican representing South-Central Pennsylvania’s Bedford, Franklin and Fulton Counties.