Berg discusses issues with local leadersRep. Rick Berg, R-ND, visited with local business leaders about national debt and health care at the Strom Center in Dickinson Monday afternoon.
Rep. Rick Berg, R-ND, visited with local business leaders about national debt and health care at the Strom Center in Dickinson Monday afternoon.
“It’s like taking over a bankrupt company,” Berg said. “The thing that I’m kind of optimistic about is every time America is faced with crisis, when the public understands ‘here’s where we are,’ the public gets together and we kind of move forward as a country.”
He hopes communication between elected officials and the public will help ease the debt crisis.
Some who attended the meeting said politicians need to stop trying to be popular and start doing what is right. Others added government should be run like a business.
Mike Armstrong of The Armstrong Corp. said he is tired of hearing about the need for government to create jobs and added too much money is being spent in that regard.
“We can’t just say ‘poof’ lets have some jobs,” he said.
“Government doesn’t create jobs,” Berg said. “We create the environment, create stability in the environment so you know if I invest money or expand, then I’m going to get a return on that investment.”
Others said pulling back on government regulation agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, could stimulate business growth.
Dean Rummel, TMI Systems Design Corp. president, said personal income tax shouldn’t be adjusted.
“We have one of lowest personal income tax rates in the country,” Rummel said. “Property tax is the one that we always have so much issue over … that’s where they need to concentrate if they’re going to mess around with tax reduction.”
Berg said democrats and republicans must work together to address the issues.
“Sixty-three percent of people in America believe this debt problem could be solved if we just got rid of some of the wasted inefficiency in government,” Berg said. “…if we didn’t appropriate one dollar, we’d have a negative cash flow, so again it’s far worse than that perception.”
In other matters, Berg discussed health care as well.
“Health care is messed up,” Berg said. “It’s like the consumer — the patient — is out of the loop and we need to kind of let those people make decisions and we need to bring some competition into healthcare so people know what they’re buying for healthcare dollars.”
He said there also needs to be less government involvement.
Vaune Cripe of American Bank Center agreed.
“It seems like there’s not going to be one single fix for the problem that we’re in, but there is a growing propensity for the government to continually insert themselves in what should be our free enterprise,” Cripe said.
Mike Lefor, chairman of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Board agrees that competition should help health care.
“We’re working more toward working together to lower the cost of health care in this area,” Lefor said.