On Tuesday, before President Obama gave his third State of the Union address, Kentucky’s senior senator, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell accurately predicted  that the president would present a “blueprint for the economy.” “What he fails to mention,” said McConnell, “is that we’ve been working off the President’s blueprint for three years. And what’s it gotten us: millions still looking for work, trillions in debt, and the first credit downgrade in U.S. history.”
McConnell pointed to one of the key reasons for the country’s sluggish record of job creation: “I saw a survey the other day that contained a number of sobering findings. It was a poll of small business leaders. It said that more than eight out of 10 of them now believe the U.S. economy is on the wrong track. Eight in 10 said they’d rather have Washington stay out of the way than try to help them. Nearly nine out of 10 said they’d rather have more certainty from Washington than more assistance. And it said that nearly a third of all those surveyed said they’re not hiring on account of the health care bill. What this survey says to me is that the policies of this administration are crushing the private sector. They’re stifling job creation. They’re holding this economy back.”
Tuesday night, after the president’s speech, McConnell reminded us that he correctly predicted that Obama would talk about his “blueprint for the economy;” yet fail to mention that for the past three years this blueprint has only resulted in “…millions still looking for work, trillions in debt, and the first credit downgrade in U.S. history.”
“The President also proposed some ideas tonight that could have bipartisan support. If he’s serious about those proposals — if he really wants to enact them — he’ll encourage the Democrats who run the Senate to keep them free from poison pills like tax hikes on job creators that we know from past experience turn bipartisan support into bipartisan opposition,” McConnell added.
Concluding, the senator said, “The President can decide he’s not interested in working with Congress if his party only controls one half of it. That’s his prerogative. He can give up on bipartisanship. But we won’t. Our problems are too urgent. The economy is too weak. The future is too uncertain. Let the President turn his back on bipartisanship. But we intend to do our jobs. And we invite him to join us.”
Our state’s junior senator, Republican Rand Paul, commented after hearing the president’s address: “One thing is for certain: President Obama is in full campaign mode.”
For himself, and on behalf of Republicans, Sen. Paul offered “…to help the President fix our country's debt problem; to fix our entitlement debacle. But the President seems more intent on riding his Canadian bus and bashing rich people than working with Congress to fix the nation's problems.”
Suggesting that the federal admistration's current spending is out of control, Sen. Paul observed, “The debt is not just a bunch of numbers; it has a face and a name. Economists estimate that our debt is currently restraining the growth of our economy by about one percent and costing over 1 million jobs. Through his stimulus spending plans, this President is on course to add more debt than all 43 previous Presidents combined, and yet unemployment still lingers near 10 percent. Since the President took office, over 2 million new workers are out of work.”
Sen. Paul concluded by stating, “The President's vision for America differs from ours. We believe, as President Reagan said in his inaugural address, that "government is the problem not the solution. Only by unleashing the greatness of American individualism can we grow our way out of this recession. I continue to invite the President to work with us, as I have asked him several times before. It is time for him to set aside his political agenda, and work together to get our country to get back on our feet again. Unless the President starts working with Congress on behalf of the prosperity of the American people, we can only assume his words tonight were no more than empty promises.”
Sen. Paul Delivers State of the Union Response - Jan. 24, 2012
Familiar Rhetoric, Failed Record - Obama at State of the union 2012
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