Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wasatch County 
Lincoln Day Breakfast Tickets on Sale


The Wasatch County Lincoln Day Breakfast is an annual fundraiser sponsored by the Wasatch County Republican Party. It will be held at the beautiful Soldier Hollow Club House. A delicious breakfast buffet will be served, and a patriotic program will follow. Elected local, state, and federal officials will address the crowd. We look forward to a well-attended, informative, and exciting event at the beginning of a busy 2016 election year. Please invite freedom loving family, friends, and neighbors. You won't want to miss this event. Get your tickets now! We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, February 27, 2016
8 AM-breakfast served
8:30 AM-program begins
Soldier Hollow Clubhouse
1370 W. Soldier Hollow Lane Midway
(Essay contest info. will be available soon!)
Cost: $25 per person

Come join us as we kick off 2016-a Presidential Election year!
You won't want to miss this big event! 

Get your tickets now by clicking HERE!

Get the best seats in the house!
VIP Tables Available for:
Elected Officials, Businesses, Organizations, 
and any interested Donors

  • Seats up to eight guests
  • Seating near the front 
  • Sponsor table placard

To purchase a VIP Table please contact Morgan Murdock at or at 435-671-1005. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Important Dates:

Wasatch County GOP Central Committee Meeting 
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
7:00 PM
Wasatch County Library and Senior Center
465 W. 1200 S. Heber City

Lincoln Day Breakfast
Saturday, February 27, 2016
8 AM-breakfast served
8:30 AM-program begins
Soldier Hollow Clubhouse
1370 W. Soldier Hollow Lane Midway
Click here to purchase tickets online!
(Essay contest info. will be available soon!)

Wasatch County Neighborhood Caucus Elections
Tuesday, March 22, 2016  
Precinct locations TBD

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wasatch County Central Committee Meeting Date Change

The date has been changed for the next Wasatch County Central Committee Meeting. It will be held on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at the Wasatch County Senior Center (465 W. 1200 S.) at 7 PM.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wasatch County Central Committee Meeting: June 4, 2015

May 19, 2015

Wasatch County Republican Leaders,

The school year is coming to a close, and summer activities and vacations are quickly approaching. We realize that this is a busy time for everyone, but we need to hold our quarterly Wasatch County Central Committee Meeting. We will meet on Thursday, June 4 at 7:00 PM at the Wasatch County Senior Center (465 E. 1200 S., Heber City). Each precinct chair and precinct vice-chair is expected to attend. We want to ensure that we will have a quorum so that we can conduct business. We ask that you please RSVP as soon as possible by emailing me at 

I am excited to work together with you to strengthen the Republican Party in Wasatch County. I look forward to meeting with you on June 4th.

Best Regards,

Morgan Murdock, County Party Chair

Wasatch County GOP Central Committee Agenda

DATE:  Thursday, June 4, 2015
PLACE: Wasatch County Senior Center, 465 E. 1200 S., Heber City, UT 84032
TIME:  7:00pm

1.      Welcome                                                              Chairman Morgan Murdock
2.      Prayer                                                                   TBD
3.      Pledge of Allegiance                                            TBD
4.      Adoption of Agenda                                            Chairman Morgan Murdock
5.      Approval of Minutes                                            Secretary Marge Carlile
6.      Officer Reports                                                    Chairman Morgan Murdock
                                                                               Vice Chair Jim Green
                                                                               Secretary Marge Carlile
                                                                               Treasurer Brent Titcomb
7.      Approve newly appointed precinct officers         Chairman Morgan Murdock
8.      Information about Wasatch County                     School Board President, Blaik Baird
School District bond proposal for new schools
Q & A      
9.      Update on Senate Bill 54                                      Chairman Morgan Murdock
10.  Attendance bylaw & procedures                          Secretary Marge Carlile
11.  Calendar Items                                                      Secretary Marge Carlile         
12.  Adjourn                                                    

Wasatch GOP Calendar - Updates available at
Wednesday, June 24th                  Utah Primary Election
Saturday, August 15                     Utah Republican State Organizing Convention (all state delegates)
Tuesday, September 22                County Central Committee Meeting
Thursday, November 12              County Central Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Message from New County GOP Chair, Morgan Murdock

Message from New County GOP Chair, Morgan Murdock

Dear Citizens of Wasatch County,

I am very excited about this new opportunity to serve as chair of the Wasatch County Republican Party. I appreciate having been able to serve as the vice-chair under the leadership of Aaron Gabrielson. As many of you know, Aaron is passionate about politics and is an energetic leader. He has done much for the Party (creating and maintaining this website, posting regular updates on social media, engaging in fundraising efforts, organizing precinct information, conducting many county meetings and conventions, and much more). We thank Aaron for his dedicated service!

I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to work with the other members of the Executive Committee: Kim Powell, Betty Smedley, and Brent Titcomb. I have learned much from each of them and thank them for their dedicated service to the Party. Betty was recognized at the Convention for 10+ years of service in the Party. What a great example she has been and continues to be to the citizens of our community. We extend a special thank you to Betty for her many years of service!

I want to thank all those who took time on the beautiful Saturday morning of March 28 to attend the County Party Organizing Convention. It was so encouraging to see over 100 in attendance. We appreciate Governor Herbert, Representative Chaffetz, and all other elected officials who attended the Convention to show their support of Wasatch County.

I applaud all those who had the willingness and courage to run for an office, and I congratulate those who won the elections. I look forward to working with the new members of the County Party Executive Committee: Jim Green (Vice-Chair), Marge Carlile (Secretary), Steve Capson (Representative to the State Central Committee), and Brent Titcomb (Treasurer). Brent has also served in this capacity for a number of years and willingly continues to serve. Each of these individuals brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. 

Kim Powell continues to serve diligently as the current Representative to the State Central Committee. She will serve in this position until after the Party State Convention on August 15, after which Steve will be seated. We thank Kim for her tireless efforts attending state and county meetings and assisting with the many details of Neighborhood Caucus Elections, Lincoln Day Breakfasts, Conventions, and other County Party events.

For those who do not know me, I am a sixth grade teacher in the Wasatch County School District. My wife, Heather, and I have seven children (McKaylah, Mosiah, Jefferson, Hunter, Elias, Jessie, and Asia). We love living in this valley and are so grateful for the friends we have made and for the many opportunities Wasatch County has provided for us to learn, grow, and serve. 

We have lived in Heber for eight years, and we have enjoyed learning more about our roots in this valley. My third great-grandfather, Joseph Stacy Murdock, was one of the early settlers, and he did what he could to help establish a peaceful community. During the ongoing Blackhawk War, Joseph found ways to serve the local Ute Indian Chief Tabby. Joseph and others provided a feast for the Chief and some of his people, and he was able to negotiate a peace treaty. This was one of the major turning points which helped bring an end to the conflict. From this historical experience I learn that as we show respect, serve, and engage in open dialogue with others, we can address any conflicts and challenges that arise.

For the past two years, I have enjoyed serving as the County Party Vice-Chair, and as a county and state delegate. I have also previously served as a precinct chair. Over the years, I have spent countless hours studying various county and state issues, speaking with candidates and elected officials, and attending county and state meetings and conventions. During this process, I have learned so much and have gained a greater appreciation for our freedoms, for Wasatch County, for the state of Utah, and for this country. I want to build upon the efforts and successes of previous Wasatch County Party officers and continue to expand and strengthen our County Party. I will continue to promote responsible government and the principles of the Party Platform.  

I am excited about all that the Party can accomplish in Wasatch County as we remain focused on the principles of the Party Platform, as we dialogue about important issues, and as we seek opportunities to serve in the community. Despite the various challenges in the county, state, and nation, I am optimistic. There is much work to be done as we prepare for the 2016 election cycle. We will rely on the knowledge, expertise, and service of the officers and delegates in each precinct. I encourage all citizens to register to vote, to become informed about the candidates and issues, and to get involved in the grassroots efforts. I look forward to meeting you and working with you.

I encourage you to sign up for email updates from this website. Please feel free to contact me via email or phone at any time with questions, concerns, or suggestions. 

Best Regards,

Morgan Murdock
702-343-3305 Cell
435-654-1858 Home

Monday, March 16, 2015

Chair and Vice-Chair Election Filings

These individuals have filed to run for Wasatch GOP Leadership positions. Thanks to those that are interested in serving. Voting will take place at the county organizing convention on March 28th.

Morgan Murdock - County Chair
Wylder Smith - County Chair
Danny Goode - County Vice-Chair
Jim Green - County Vice-Chair

These positions are also up for election, but individuals don't have to file in advance:

County Secretary
County Treasurer
County Representative to State Central Commitee

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Calling All County Delegates - 2015 Organizing Convention is on Saturday, March 28th

The date for the 2015 Wasatch County Organizing Convention has been set for Saturday, March 28th at 8:30am.

County delegates will be voting on bylaws changes and choosing new county party leadership including county chair, vice-chair, treasurer, secretary, and state central committee representative.  If anyone is interested in running for these positions please contact me (my contact info is below). 

Our bylaws require a majority of the delegates to be present to conduct business. Your attendance at the convention is important.

Thank you for your service in representing your precinct. 

2015 Wasatch County Republican Party Organizing Convention
DATE:  Saturday, March 28th, 2015
PLACE:  Wasatch County Library and Senior Center, 465 W. 1200 S. Heber City
TIME:  8:30am – 10:30am
8:30am Delegate Registration
9:00am Convention Business Begins

Best Regards,

Aaron Gabrielson, County Party Chair

Mobile: 801-319-6876

Friday, March 6, 2015

2015 Lincoln Day Address - "Celebrate What's Right to Fix What's Wrong"

2015 Lincoln Day Address 
by Aaron Gabrielson, Chairman Wasatch County GOP

Where I work we love a book by Simon Sinek called “Start With Why”. It’s a great place to start anything, by asking “Why”.  It is the best place usually.

So let’s begin with the question, Why should the Republican party exist? Why are we here today? 

Here is my answer to that question:

“The Republican Party should exist to promote the idea that a limited government, dedicated to the defense of individual liberty, creates the most prosperity, peace, happiness, and opportunity to achieve our divine potential.” 

It helps to keep reviewing our purpose, otherwise like a airplane that is off course slightly, over time you end up somewhere you don’t want to be. 

I feel there is something holding us back from reaching our purpose as a party, and also as a community, as businesses and individuals.

What is holding us back is the politics of fear.

HL Menken wrote “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
Once we are afraid, we can be controlled. We will give up our birthright of liberty voluntarily. No one needs to pry it from us by force, we will give it away freely, even gladly.  We will trade those liberties for an illusion of security and protection.

Politics is infected with this fear mongering. It is also used by the media nearly exclusively. News and talk shows use fear as the appetizer, main course and dessert for almost every show. Businesses and trade groups use fear as a weapon to lobby for cronyism and protection from competition. And politicians have found it an indispensible tool to get elected.  It is also useful as they establish larger government with more rules, laws, controls, regulations, programs, taxes and tariffs.  If you have ever heard a salesman say something is a “limited time offer”, you have seen how fear makes the world work. Citing more examples feels unnecessary, because the fear based method is the rule. Counter examples are hard to find. 

So allow me to help innoculate you against this tsunami of fear that washes up on you every day in a thousand ways. Even though the world uses fear to manipulate, the real power still lies with us. Their trick only works if we let it.  Let me show you how to fight back.

National Geographic photographer, Dewitt Jones teaches that we should always celebrate what is right with the world.  He says “When we celebrate what’s right, we find the energy to fix what’s wrong.”

The message we rarely hear (because it doesn’t sell) is how many things are going right in Utah and the world.

Let me give you a fact that might be surprising. Right now, in the world we are having record peace. Deaths from war have never been lower. Never lower than now. Ever.

That is such good news you would think you might have heard that story.  The headline I haven’t seen yet is “Global Golden Age Of Peace!”  But the fact remains, and it does get some media attention, but not much.

Here is another fact: global poverty has been cut in half in recent decades. This improvement is not the result of government programs but the fruits of free market activity (but that is a story for another day).  Experts expect global poverty to be cut in half again, in the next 20 years. 

Lifespans have never been higher in the world, people have never had more to eat, and progress against disease is unprecedented. And to top it off, we live in Utah, which has been recognized as the best managed state in America, which is the greatest and most generous nation on Earth.

There is so much right in the world to celebrate that it makes the negative, fear based message we hear on a daily basis seem ludicrously, hilariously, out of step with reality.

Congressman Ron Paul said “We don’t have to be ignorant to real threats to our safety. We need only to banish to the ash heap of history the notion that we ought to be ruled by our fears and those who use them to enhance their own power.”

I challenge everyone to reject fear and celebrate what is right in the world because we here in Wasatch County have more to celebrate than any people in history. 

Successful 2015 Lincoln Day Breakfast

The 2015 Lincoln Day Breakfast was sold out again this year.  It was a great opportunity to hear from our elected officials, eat breakfast and have fun!  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Winners Announced for 2015 Lincoln Day Essay Contest

Congrats to the winners of the 2015 Wasatch County Lincoln Day Essay Contest! You can read all the essays at

2015 Wasatch County Lincoln Day Essay Contest Winners
$200 - Overall Winner: Joseph Cieslewicz, 11th Grade
$100 - Adult Category Winner: Pam Fredericks
$100 - High School Category Winner: Aaron Johnson, 12th Grade
$100 - 5th to 8th Grade Category Winner: Caleb Roper, 7th Grade
$100 - 4th Grade and Under Winner: Shelby Gabrielson, 4th Grade

Lincoln Day Essay Submission by Governor Gary R. Herbert

Utah is Still the Right Place
By Governor Gary R. Herbert

When leader Brigham Young first overlooked the majestic Salt Lake Valley at the end of the Mormon Pioneers’ trek west in 1847, he famously remarked: “This is the right place.”

Today, nearly 168 years later, Young’s words still resonate – for a variety of reasons. Our population, much like the entire state, has blossomed like the rose, from a few thousand hardy pioneers to nearly three million people.

And many more keep coming.

They come to put down roots, to take up skiing, and to hike and bike our beautiful mountains and red rock canyons. They come for the Utah lifestyle, our clean cities, safe streets and neighborhoods. And increasingly, they come to do business.

A quick look at the numbers reveals why.

Our unemployment rate has dropped from a high of 8.4 percent when I took office in 2009 to 3.5 percent today, the fourth-lowest in the nation. Utah’s job growth rate is 3.9  percent, almost double the national average of 2.2 percent. Over the past year, Utah has created nearly 51,000 jobs. Moreover, Utah has the fourth-most diverse economy in America.

Everyone knows about California’s famed Silicon Valley, but people are now becoming familiar with Utah’s “Silicon Slopes” – the cluster of information technology and software development firms along the Wasatch Front that is leading the world in innovative memory process technology, thanks to IM Flash, Adobe and Oracle, among others.

We also are home to a burgeoning life sciences industry – a community highlighted by Merit Medical, Fresenius, Edwards Lifesciences and other multinational companies. And we have a skilled and bilingual workforce. Utahns speak more than 130 languages in commerce every day.

 Not surprisingly, our success is garnering national attention.

Forbes magazine has named Utah the “Best State for Business and Careers” for four of the past five years. Earlier this month, the  U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recognized Utah in its “Enterprising States Report” for being the top overall performing state in the nation for the past two years. And the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ranked Utah number one in 2014 for “Economic Dynamism.”

So what is Utah’s secret?

Absolutely nothing. We simply believe in the fundamentals that govern success and consistently do our best to execute them.

For example, we have low, competitive and consistent tax rates.

Utah collects the 44th lowest amount of revenue per capita in the nation. Of the 45 states that have corporate tax rates, Utah is tied for the third lowest. We haven’t raised the corporate tax rate in more than 15 years, which allows business owners to focus on creating jobs and expanding their bottom line rather than paying more taxes to expand the size of government.

Speaking of limited government, our state government is smaller today than it was in 2001, even though Utah has added more than over 700,000 new residents. In 2000, there was one employee for every 112 Utahns; today, that ratio is one state employee for every 146 Utahns.

Not only is Utah’s government smaller, it’s more efficient.

Utah offers more than 1,000 services online and we are adding four new services, on average, every month. In 2012, more than 31 million E-government transactions were processed through, saving residents and businesses approximately $46 million.

Regulatory reform is another area where Utah excels. We we have modified or eliminated nearly 400 onerous or unnecessary regulations at the state level, and we are now working with cities across the state to make their regulations more business-friendly.

In Utah, we also believe in living within our means. We save for a rainy day and avoid taking on unnecessary debt. In fact, Utah is one of only a handful of states to maintain a AAA bond rating, and we have done so for 22 consecutive years.

Simply put, there is no better place to live and do business than Utah. Our taxes are low, our entrepreneurial spirit high, and our skilled workforce is educated and highly motivated. We also have an enviable quality of life that is second to none.

Now, more than ever, Utah is the right place.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Lincoln Day Essay by Aaron Wade Johnson, 12th Grade

 “Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

By Aaron Wade Johnson, 12th Grade

I believe that Utah is among the best managed states because of its pro-business republican principles. For the most part, Republicans believe in allowing businesses and individuals to regulate the economy rather than relying on governments to step in. This approach is something that could greatly help the American Economy.

Instead of trying to step in and fix the economy by taxing or regulating individuals and businesses, governments should strive to allow the individuals, businesses, and the economy itself, to fix the economy. This being said, it would be illogical for the government to step out of the picture completely, but it might be helpful to change some habits and regulations.

Another thing that might help the United States Government would be to follow the same law that is placed on its states: No individual State governments are allowed to post budget deficits in a fiscal year summary or report. While states are strongly discouraged, there is no such limit placed on the federal government. While this policy is not specifically Republican, many of the pro-business policies of the Republican Party are what allow Utah to maintain a budget in line with this federal law. This pro-business look greatly influences our state economy, earning us top rankings in the nation such as debt per capita: $2,577 (17th lowest); Budget Deficit: 8.2% (32nd largest); and an Unemployment rate of 5.7% (tied for 10th lowest) (information drawn from “Best- and worst-run states: Survey of all 50.” USA Today).

If the United States Government were to model more of its actions and policies after Republican ideals and characteristics, America, its economy, and its 316 million citizens could greatly benefit.

Lincoln Day Essay by Kyla Roper, 4th Grade

 “Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

Kyla Roper, 4th Grade

I believe that the Republican principles make Utah successful because Republicans try not to have debt, they believe in fiscal conservatism, or, not wasting money. This keeps taxes lower and gives people the chance to give their own money to charities and help people how they want to. Republicans believe in being kind and respectful to other people even if they have different ideas. This sets a good example for the rest of the country and it also makes people like Utah and they want to live here, which helps make Utah more successful.

Republicans also believe in liberty and freedom and who doesn’t want that? Having liberty and freedom means we can be more responsible for ourselves and then we need less government. Republicans like smaller government. Wanting to be responsible and work hard and not let the government take over everything could motivate people to do better in school and then we have higher graduation rates and less crime. This also makes Utah a good state that the rest of the country could learn from.

I think Utah is well managed because of the people. They care about where they live and like things to be nice and clean and they like to help each other out and don’t even need the government to take their taxes to make them help the less fortunate. That is the kind of freedom and agency that Republicans believe in. It’s the right to choose things for your families like what you want for jobs, what you want to have and where you want to go and who you want to help. I like Utah because of the activities we can do here and because of the people and I think the rest of the country could be more like us! And then we could set an example for the rest of the continent. And then that would set an example for the rest of the world and if the whole world was good that would be truly awesome! 

Lincoln Day Essay by Pam Fredericks

“Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

By Pam Fredericks

Utah proposed seven times within forty years to become a part of the United States of America. Utah and the United States of America were married January 6th, 1896. Any state that proposes that many times is going to bring with it allegiance, purpose, personality, and tenacity for getting a job done. Those that saw the need to be part of the U.S., had principles that drove those characteristics into action. Utahans, then and now, demonstrate self-reliance, frugality, innovation, creativity, responsibility, and resourcefulness. The principles that Utah governs by are some of the same ones shared by Founding Fathers. Some of those principles translate into what Republicans today base their platform on: limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets to name a few. These principles prove to be universal, constant, and successful, regardless of who’s using them.  However, they are what sets America apart from the rest of the world. Utah has been and continues to be successful because of its dedication to proven American principles.
Utah’s greatest resource is the people’s understanding, appreciation, and application of these principles. Utah is dedicated to these principles because they strengthen individuals, which create families, which build society, which shape business, which produce prosperity.  Utah has been named the 2014, #1 best state for business. It’s not a surprise as we were #3 last year, and #1 from 2010-2012. This conclusion is based on six categories with 36 sub points including: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects, and quality of life. Business costs are broken down into labor, energy, and taxes. Utah comes in with a “pro-business climate” because of lower energy costs, “job growth forecasts”, a technology hub with an enormous talent pool, and a relatively young work source ( business).
Prosperous states know that there’s a powerful correlation between a strong business environment and a strong individual and family environment. Our Governor, Gary Herbert, said, “Government should get off your backs and out of your wallets” ( Every sector, which includes, private, non-profit, religious, corporate, and especially government, should all exist to fortify individuals and families. Government leaders should be like wise parents who balance their roles of protecting, providing, and teaching. However, too much of anything is a bad thing. Overindulgent parents cultivate greed, envy, gluttony, pride, lust, sloth, and wrath; known as the seven deadly sins. On the other side, under involved parents can adopt these destructive characteristics. Like dedicated parents, wise elected officials strive for the right balance. We call that limited government.
Limited government, like exceptional parenting, breeds personal performance and productivity. Utah is pleased to have as our state motto the word “Industry”. Utah is not afraid to work. Our unemployment rate of 3.5% is a great compliment to our leaders, and a big accomplishment of Utah citizens. Wise government leaders empower people to take responsibility to create their own prosperity and destiny.  If needs or wants are provided by government programs, then people slowly lose their drive, desire, and value to provide for themselves. They become dependent on the state. Brilliant parents raise their dependents to be independent. The national government seems to glory in having co-dependents.  Government should get satisfaction from helping citizens help themselves. The proper role of government is more of a protective one, not a providing one.  Limitless government takes away opportunities to be generous and charitable. Because of Utah’s view of limiting government, the flat low income tax rate of 5%, lower energy costs, and sensible budgeting skills, Utahans are also able to be the #1 most charitable state ( We can measure success by unemployment rates, government debt ratios, taxes, crime rates, standard of living, business growth, and all sorts of percentages, but there is nothing more important than serving and loving others.
Personal and Fiscal responsibility go hand in hand with free markets.  Free markets allow, expect, and trust people to merit their own way. Free market principles generate entrepreneurship, variety, industry, creativity and quality, because there is incentive and purpose in work. Fiscal responsibility also means managing funds trustworthily. Utah shows this with their balanced budget and two rainy day funds. Utah also does not have legalized gambling. Hawaii is the only other state that does not have some sort of legalized gambling. The website is very informative and impressive with regards to the governor’s office of economic development.
Utah’s second greatest treasure is the land and its natural resources. Even though 60% of Utah is managed by the federal government, we are able to accomplish a lot with comparatively a little. Only Alaska and Nevada have higher percentages than us. Most of the “well-managed states” are in the west or mid-west where most of the land is considered federal. We can prosper with whatever assets and liabilities we have because of our self-sufficient spirit and industrious attitude.
Utah’s land was used for a very long time for most people’s livelihoods. We have an incredible mining and agriculture heritage. Our mining, farming, and ranching roots are very deep and even though most of us aren’t throwing a pick, irrigating, or branding cattle, the heritage of hard work and frugality that these trades nurture are a blessing. Farmers and ranchers are notorious for keeping things simply because they might need it for something someday. We know how to use the land advantageously. We are very fortunate to have a vast variety of landscapes and environments that travel and tourism maximize revenues on.
Utah is a well-run entity purely because of its people, in and out of leadership, that choose to live by valid principles. Six out of the top ten states for business in 2014, have Republican traditions. They are: Utah, North Dakota, North Carolina, Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Political officers have immense power in effecting people’s lives. But, they are not or ever will be solely responsible for the happiness and prosperity of a state or nation. The great American test is that each person is responsible for their own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, regardless of what anyone else does.
Thomas Jefferson said, “In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock” ( If we stand like a rock to what’s good and right, and what works best, then currents will not have power to drown us.  America is forgetting what matters most. America is fighting upstream battles. We’ve twisted styles into principles, and principles into style. Styles change and cycle but principles persist and prove. We’re also losing the ability and freedom to choose and create our own styles and be individual innovators. What’s best for an individual is always right for society but what’s right for society is not always best for an individual. People give up their personal liberty all the time. How can we think about the problems of America when we are blinded by their own? People are sometimes blind and deceived because of the actions they have chosen for themselves, and the blame and the criticisms that are darting through the air. Talk about clean air…let’s talk about negativity and sarcasm. Talk about less spending…let’s talk about greed and laziness. Talk about a balanced budget…let’s talk about practicality and responsibility. Talk about health care…let’s talk about anger and self-worth. Talk about national defense…let’s talk about addictions and morals. Talk about what makes Utah stand out…let’s talk about true principles that have been handed down for generations. The “American Spirit” is alive and well in Utah and is the main reason it’s considered a top spot for business.
 Are we the land of the free and the home of the brave or are we the land of the spending spree and the home of the latest craze? The government is trying to be everything to everybody. It’s impossible. America is like the parents who spoil and try to “fix” things with more control and spending. We don’t have a balanced budget. We are over-regulating and over-spending ourselves into a catastrophe. Utahans understand the excruciating task of keeping things balanced is critical to happiness in our hearts, homes, and homeland.
The ideals that have guided this relatively young state, were ideas that drove America’s Founding Fathers, such as natural rights in a representative republic where power is given to the people to maintain a strong overall welfare, which will only succeed if they are virtuous and moral.  Freedom is based on the ability to choose-not whether it’s right or wrong, but the opportunity and ability to make choices. Hopefully, it is self-control that is affiliated with today’s Republican Party. Republican principles are based on classic, unrelenting, American-revolution inspired morals and virtues. The United States needs to get back to “American Principles”. If America is going to be successful financially and socially, Utah and all the other states need to divorce itself from any part of any principle that spoils society, breaks businesses, fines families, or impairs individuals.  

Lincoln Day Essay by Joseph Cieslewicz, 11th Grade

 “Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

Joseph Cieslewicz, 11th Grade. 

Fiscal responsibility has always been an integral American value. President William McKinkley declared in 1896 that “The income of the government, I repeat, should equal its necessary and proper expenditures. A failure to pursue this policy has compelled the government to borrow money in a time of peace, to sustain its credit and pay its daily expenses. This policy should be reversed, and that, too, as speedily as possible.”[1] These Republican principles are even more relevant today, though they are increasingly disregarded. Guided by similar principles, the State of Utah has developed sound fiscal policies and built a healthy business environment. Properly applied, this model can help address many of America’s economic and governmental problems.

            The first important factor in Utah’s success is fiscal responsibility. In Utah, both the governor and the legislature are legally required to balance the budget every year.[2] Utah’s commitment to this principle has allowed it to escape the massive deficits faced by other states during the last economic downturn. A balanced budget also ensures that the state will maintain manageable debt levels. Consequently, Utah is one of only 7 states with an “AAA” credit rating.[3] Utah has built its fiscal policy on the basic principle that one should not spend more than one earns.

Edmund Burke, the father of conservatism, believed that “Society is a contract between the past, the present and those yet unborn.”[4] Utah’s state government upholds their end of this contract by ensuring that future generations will not be saddled with debt. Careful borrowing protects the state from a vicious cycle of debt, whereby the government must borrow more and more money just to pay the interest on its loans. This cycle has brought many national governments to the brink of default.[5]

            Utah also practices Republican fiscal principles through its tax policies. The Republican Party opposes the federal system of progressive taxation because “We oppose any tax policies that divide Americans or promote class warfare.” They advocate a tax system that is “simple, transparent, flatter, and fair.”[6] Utah applies these principles with a single income tax rate of 5%. The Tax Foundation praised Utah’s tax climate for levying taxes with low rates on broad bases.[7]  This ensures that all groups of society share equally in the burdens of government. A broad, flat tax also motivates all groups in society to be concerned about taxation and government finances. When a tax system allows some groups to pay no taxes at all, it encourages many to think that they can take from society without giving anything in return. Furthermore, a proportional taxation system has no negative incentives for earning more income, thereby encouraging individual enterprise.

            This combination of a balanced budget and fair, simple taxation could solve many of the federal government’s fiscal problems. Previous attempts to require the federal government to balance its budget, such as the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, have failed because they lacked real, long-term legal authority. Only a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution will restore long-term fiscal responsibility.[8] This will force lawmakers to honestly evaluate the necessity of each federal program. Programs determined to be less critical will be streamlined or cut. This must be combined with an overhaul of the US Tax Code, to make federal income taxes simpler and more proportional.

            The second factor in Utah’s economic success is a healthy regulatory environment. Utah’s approach to business regulations was best explained by Governor Gary Herbert: “Government should get off of your backs and out of your wallets.”[9] In that spirit, Utah maintains a low corporate income tax rate of 5%. Utah goes even further in supporting businesses with massive corporate tax incentive programs.

Regarding business regulations, Republican President Theodore Roosevelt warned that “The mechanism of modern business is so delicate that extreme care must be taken not to interfere with it in a spirit of rashness or ignorance.”[10] In keeping with these principles, Utah’s business regulations are under constant review in order to create the most opportunities for businesses, while still safely monitoring externalities. Utah’s health insurance regulations provide an excellent example of this healthy regulatory climate. Jason Sorens, Professor of Political Science at Dartmouth, points out that “Utah’s health insurance regulations are generally light, resulting in less costly policies and more choice for people in the small group and individual markets.”[11] This offers a stark contrast to the increasingly complex and restrictive insurance regulations coming out of Washington. Another important source of economic freedom in Utah is Utah’s right-to-work policy. This protects the economic liberty of both workers and businesses.

            Utah’s support of business is based on the principles of the Republican Party. From its earliest days, the Republican Party has advocated policies that provide opportunities to both businesses and workers. Opportunities for businesses are opportunities for employment, and thus the interests of employers and employees are linked. Republicans understand that it is businesses, not the government, which drive the US economy. They champion job creation as the best way to help citizens help themselves. Conservative thinker Russell Kirk explained why Conservatives defend economic freedom: “To be able to retain the fruits of one’s labor; to be able to see one’s work made permanent; to be able to bequeath one’s property to one’s posterity—these are advantages difficult to deny.”[12] Government economic policies should have the end goal of making citizens self-reliant, not dependent.

            If we are to rebuild America’s economic greatness, we must help our businesses be competitive in the global economy. As former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman put it, “Economic recovery must be earned. And it will be earned by entrepreneurs and small businesses.”[13] Utah’s workforce is already well-educated and multilingual, prepared to compete in the global economy. The state’s support of economic freedom protects the job opportunities that would naturally come to such a workforce. The result is greater prosperity for all. Utah has doubled its international trade over the last 5 years, enjoys the second fastest growing economy in the nation, and boasts an unemployment rate of 3.5%.[14]

            On the national level, many reforms can be implemented to follow Utah’s lead and give more freedom and opportunity to American businesses. The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, at 40%.[15] This is devastating to everyday Americans because, as Ronald Reagan put it, “Business must pass its costs of operations -- and that includes taxes -- on to the customer in the price of the product. Only people pay taxes, all the taxes.”[16] High corporate taxes have also driven many American jobs overseas. The federal government should follow Utah’s lead by lowering the corporate tax rate, at least to a level on par with that of other developed nations. Lowering the tax rate will encourage corporations that have moved overseas to utilize the American workforce. 

             Utah’s economic structure is built upon enduring values of self-reliance, innovation, fiscal responsibility, and economic liberty. Utah has applied Republican principles in building this system which is not only economically healthy, but also morally sound. Utah’s economic success is built on individual enterprise, not government intrusion. These values, and their correlating policies, would help America resolve many of its governmental and economic challenges. Like all reforms, this cause must be advanced by the American people. American citizens must live in accordance with these principles and elect officials who are committed to these reforms. These efforts will bring rich rewards to Americans and their posterity. As George Washington proclaimed, “A people who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see, and who will pursue their advantages, may achieve almost anything.”[17]

[1] William McKinley, “1896 Acceptance Speech,”
[2] National Association of State Budget Officers, “Budget Processes in the States,”
[3] Kurt Badenhausen, “Utah Tops Forbes 2012 List Of The Best States For Business,” Forbes,
[4] Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France,
[5] See Peter Eavis, “For Europe, Few Options in a Vicious Cycle of Debt,” The New York Times, 11 January 2012.
[7] The Tax Foundation, “2015 State Business Tax Index.”
[8] David Primo, Senior Scholar at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, “Act Now to Prevent a Debt Crisis,” US News,
[9] Kurt Badenhausen, “Utah Tops Forbes 2012 List Of The Best States For Business,” Forbes,
[11] The Mercatus Center, Freedom in the 50 States,
[14] “2014 Business Facilities Rankings Report,” Business Faculties Magazine,; “Utah Unemployment Report,”
[16] Ronald Reagan, “Address to the Nation on the Economy,”  
[17] George Washington, Letter to Benjamin Harrison, 10 October 1784,