ROBBINS: Back to your raisin in 2017

I grew up in a home with a lot of “old sayin’s.” One that I have relied on most is “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” While there are many variants of that phrase, it seems that it may be near defeat at the hands a politically correct culture that demands “words hurt.” Another one of those old sayings under attack is “work before play.” Work should not be all-encompassing, but folks would be better off tending to their core business before pursuing more trivial or pleasurable pursuits.This notion is especially true for our political leaders — both in Raleigh and in Washington. My hope for the new year is that our state leaders will get right to the business of the people and leave playtime for some time after the laundry list of work is done. Lowering the regulatory and tax burden on our citizens is work for true leaders. Pet projects and political posturing are a base form of play for political junkies and politicians. Creating sound, fiscally sustainable policies on infrastructure, environment, and commerce is the work of statesmen and innovators. Political chess matches for electoral posturing are the pastime of people who care for their game more than the people they serve. Get your time card punched on the factory floor of sound policy-making before taking us to the circus of the politics designed to divide us.In Washington, the U.S. worker has never been more front-and-center. Let’s hope that the Congress, new president, and a fully functioning U.S. Supreme Court will put on that same blue-collar shirt and get to work on tax, regulatory, healthcare, and immigration reforms before sidetracks, filibusters, and posturing rear their playful heads.There is a punch list of necessary reforms on the desks of our elected officials. Let’s do that work first — and then let’s go sit on the porch and play checkers.Neal Robbins is publisher of the North State Journal and a member of the North State Journal’s editorial board, separate from the news staff. Unlike other newspapers, the North State Journal does not publish unsigned editorials; the author or authors of every editorial, letter, op-ed, and column is prominently displayed. To submit a letter or op-ed, see our submission guidelines.