A recent poll by Monmouth University asked participants to describe the United States in one word. The most common responses? Divided. Conflicted. Chaos. Mess. What happened to words like freedom? Hope. Pride. Opportunity. 

Two thousand miles to Utah’s east is a Capitol and White House that are far more interested in playing politics than solving problems. Their model of distraction and inaction has spread like wildfire across the supposedly “united” 50 states. Fortunately, Utah has yet to fall into that trap. 

While D.C. focuses on social and political issues that threaten individual liberty, economic prosperity and national security, Utah looks to the future with optimism. We create sound policies, invest in the future and focus on bettering the lives of current and future generations. We remain rooted in our conservative values of hard work, sacrifice, personal responsibility and collaboration.

Perhaps D.C. could learn a thing or two from the Beehive State.

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The ‘Utah Way’

Taxes

President Joe Biden’s recently released 2024 budget proposal includes nearly $4.7 trillion in new taxes, which comes on top of the Fed’s skyrocketing spending, out-of-control money-printing policies, and rising interest rates. Unfortunately, hardworking Americans are paying the price.

Utah knows that the secret to a strong business and family-friendly economy is allowing taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned money in their own pockets — not in government coffers. To that extent, the Utah Legislature just cut taxes, again. We expanded the social security tax credit. We are working to remove the state sales tax on food. We lowered the gas tax. We doubled the dependent exemption for children. In fact, in the past five years we have cut taxes by over $1 billion.

If D.C. doesn’t understand that tax dollars belong to the people — Utah will show them.

Energy 

Utah has always had a measured, all-of-the-above energy policy that has powered decades of prosperity by providing some of the most reliable energy at some of the most affordable prices in the country. 

We don’t scoff at new energy technologies. Alternatively, the federal government’s energy policies are not based in reality, and they threaten our ability to keep the lights on. D.C.’s national energy approach cuts production of proven energy sources and rushes to depend on renewable energies that are simply unable to produce enough energy to power the American economy or maintain our quality of life. America can and should be energy independent now and always. 

If D.C. can’t see that, Utah will show them. 

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Education

There are few things more important than educating our children. Parents, not the government, should choose the education path that best fits their child. That’s why Utah became the first state to pass school choice legislation with a supermajority vote. Utah’s students and teachers are among the best in the nation. We consistently outperform other states in terms of student results and we aim to provide the best education for every student. 

If D.C doesn’t know its place in the classroom, Utah will show them.

Utahns know what it takes to keep America moving forward. We have the results to prove our policies work and have been recognized, yet again, by U.S. News and World Report as the No. 1 Best State in the nation. We have unlimited potential and a bright future, I wouldn’t trade places with any other state in the nation. We cannot become D.C. We should continue to embrace the Utah Way so that Utah can continue to be America’s brightest star.

Brad Wilson is the Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives and is exploring a run for the U.S. Senate in 2024.