Let me tell you about the America I know. My parents immigrated to the United States with $10 in their pocket and a belief that the America they had heard about really did exist as the land of opportunity. Through hard work and great sacrifice, they achieved success. So the America I came to know growing up was filled with all the excitement and possibilities found in living the American dream.
Watching my father work odd jobs in order to provide for us and maintain his independence taught me valuable lessons in personal responsibility. When tough times came, he didn’t look to Washington, he looked within. Because the America he knew was centered on self-reliance. The America I know is founded in the freedom self-reliance always brings.
What makes America great is the idea that when government is limited, people are free — free to work, free to live, free to choose, free to fail and free to achieve. The America I know provides everyone an equal opportunity to be as unequaled as they choose to be.
The America I know gives back. Americans, regardless of financial status, are the most giving people on the planet. On their own, without government requirement, our people give their money, their time and their attention to causes, communities and people in need whether it is across the street or around the world.
The America I know makes tough choices. As the mayor of a small town in Utah facing its own fiscal cliff, we put limited government, fiscal discipline and personal responsibility first in order to create an amazing community that could last. I have also seen that facing challenging choices head-on inspires our citizens to get involved, engage in meaningful dialogue, rally around shared values, do things differently and change the way government works.