- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Six hundred dollars here, $2,000 there, government funding here, coronavirus stimulus there. As Congress and Capitol Hill grapple with the fate of final and ongoing relief funding amounts for American homeowners, business owners and citizens — and sadly, even noncitizens, i.e. illegals — the simple fact is this: These handouts are getting wearisome.

Americans, true Americans, want to work.

Enough of the sitting at home, nail-biting over a virus, waiting for the government dole-out check to come in the mail. That’s for the takers; that’s for the lowest of the low.

Americans, true Americans, want to provide for themselves, and for their own families rather than rely on tax dollar disbursements and redistributions of resources for survival.

It’s high time for the government to back out, bow out and let the businesses of the country open fully and function freely. Who the heck is Dr. Anthony Fauci to say otherwise? Who the heck is a local health bureaucrat to dictate closure?

The government has seized too much power during these coronavirus times, so much so that American business owners — specifically, America’s small business owners — are being placed in positions of having to beg, plead, please-pretty-please petition their own public servants for the right, the supposedly inalienable right, that is, to put food on the table for their children.

How egregious.

This is America, land of the free, not China, country of communists. Or is it?

“Store owners in Manhattan are fighting to reopen their doors and say their livelihoods are at stake,” ABC7 reported in May. In May.

“In New Orleans, the owner of a gallery and lounge that launched just before the pandemic hit reopened it as a takeout eatery, with himself as the lone employee,” The Associated Press reported in June. In June.

By November, the headlines turned more aggressive.

One, from WKBW: “Business owners confront health department as it attempts to shut down gathering.”

Another, from The Mercury News, in December: “Some California business owners will defy governor’s coronavirus shutdown order.”

And why not?

“Fight for your business that you invested so much time and energy and money into it, to stay open and fight for your rights, stand up for your family, for your employees, your community,” wrote California vegan restaurant owner Alondra Ruiz on Instagram, the San Diego Tribune reported in December.

Yes indeed. Fight.

True Americans want to work, not live off the taxpayer dime. Yet it’s these true Americans who want to work who are being condemned by government — by a government that is one day at a time, one business at a time, steadily but assuredly smashing entrepreneurial spirit while simultaneously buoying do-nothing types. That’s not just bad for the business owners. That’s bad for all of America. That’s devastating for all of America’s middle class, and for the entirety of America’s economy, which relies in large part on small businesses to thrive.

Business owners know how to protect themselves, their employees and their customers and clients from the coronavirus.

A government that doesn’t recognize this basic truth is a government that’s bent on seizing power and control, and using the coronavirus as a platform to bring these power-hungry goals to fruition.

It’s not the coronavirus that’s killing America’s small and mid-size businesses — that’s driving entrepreneurs to their knees — that’s whisking the entrepreneurial spirit out the windows. It’s the government’s response to the coronavirus.

That’s a distinct and crucial difference to remember because it identifies the real  enemy in this coronavirus chaos. Yes, there’s a virus; yes, this virus causes health problems, even death. But this virus doesn’t give government carte blanche to do as it pleases. It doesn’t blot out the Constitution, or the rights contained in the Constitution recognizing the individual as the authority, the politician as the public servant.

On the decimation of America’s businesses, let’s be clear: Government is to blame — not the virus. True Americans see this, and fight not so much for more stimulus, but for their God-given rights to work. And that is the side on which all America must stand.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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