The outlook for the Cullman area’s economy has generally been positive this year. Industrial expansion is under way and new retail businesses are opening.

Such news usually is the sign of a robust economy. While few people are prepared to say robust economy, Cullman continues to weather an otherwise troubling economy across the nation.

In fact, the worst news about the economy has largely been attributed to the federal government. The Army, with no interference from Congress, stripped Cullman County of numerous jobs because it decided to use a Canadian company to make certain products under new contract guidelines.

And of course there is President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. While retail sales were declining for the third straight month, these two have engaged in a childish battle of accusations. Which one of the candidates will actually wise-up and take the economy seriously before November is anyone’s guess.

Cullman County is one of those rare communities that has forged ahead despite the party-line blabbering of the nation’s leading political parties. If government does little to support your ambition, making success through hard work and dedication is certainly an option.

But how long can efforts such as Cullman County’s hold up without some support from government? Would-be investors and existing business owners reportedly have dollars to spend through expansion and the hiring of new employees, but fear that the government will not ease up on taxes and regulations is keeping too much potential on hold.

Having to wait on the outcome of a presidential race hardly seems the way to inspire economic growth. The nation has been on hold long enough while the political parties argue about big government and little government. The truth is that the only way government will shrink is if it goes broke. That’s truly possible. Some public servants think Americans want a wide range of programs and services to keep them happy. What the vast majority really wants is an economy that offers jobs and prosperity. If big government wants taxes for all the grand programs, it will have to make an environment that is primed for job growth. When that happens we can all better afford the taxes and the programs.

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