Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Paul Ryan's State of the Union Address Response

Rep Paul Ryan of Wisconsin delivered the GOP response to the State of the Union address. He began, as President Obama did, with words of recognition and support for Congresswoman Giffords.

On the budget, remember that the Pelosi led Congress didn't even present a budget as required last session. That was the first time the budget requirement was ignored in decades.
“Americans are skeptical of both political parties, and that skepticism is justified – especially when it comes to spending. So hold all of us accountable. In this very room, the House will produce, debate, and advance a budget. Last year – in an unprecedented failure – Congress chose not to pass, or even propose a budget. The spending spree continued unchecked. We owe you a better choice and a different vision. Our forthcoming budget is our obligation to you – to show you how we intend to do things differently, how we will cut spending to get the debt down, help create jobs and prosperity, and reform government programs.”

“The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25% for domestic government agencies – an 84% increase when you include the failed stimulus. All of this new government spending was sold as ‘investment.’ Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9% and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt.”

The President spoke of 'investments' in various initiatives - infrastructure, technology, research and development - which all may be admirable projects but the bottom line is that 'investment' means spending, stimulus-style. The promise that unemployment would not exceed 8% if the original spending spree of Team Obama was passed through Congress failed to materialize. Instead, the spending programs have mostly failed and unemployment rates rose.

“We believe government’s role is both vital and limited – to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense; to secure our borders; to protect innocent life; to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights; to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity; and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves. We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility. We believe, as our founders did, that ‘the pursuit of happiness’ depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government. Limited government also means effective government. When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn’t do any of them very well. It’s no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high.”

President Obama spoke of government as the solution, as is his belief. This is simply fundamentally opposite to Republican thinking. Obama has expanded the role of the federal government in everyday life and has created more jobs in the federal structure than in the private sector. Republicans do not view this as success or a realistic way forward to economic recovery. Government is not to create jobs but to provide an atmosphere and policies that allow and encourage job creation.

“We need to reclaim our American system of limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations, and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity. And it has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. That’s the real secret to job creation – not borrowing and spending more money in Washington. Limited government and free enterprise have helped make America the greatest nation on earth.

Amen. Well said.

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