Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) delivered the weekly Republican address today.
On the stimulus package:
“People are looking for leadership to help create jobs and opportunity and instead what they see is the same, tired political responses. We were told two years ago this month that the way to grow the economy was through bigger government, more spending, and more borrowing. The Stimulus plan ended up costing over a trillion dollars when you include the interest on the money that had to be borrowed to pay for it. It was a grand experiment that failed. It not only failed to produce new jobs, an economic boost the Obama Administration promised, the trillion dollar price tag, combined with higher levels of spending across government, added up to a record deficit again this year and a national debt that is now dangerously close to the size of the entire U.S. economy. This growing red ink is hurting the economy today and mortgaging the future for our kids and grandkids.
“This means enacting new tax policies that take away uncertainty and encourage innovation and investment and make us more competitive in a global economy. It means real health care reform that truly reduces costs, helping working families and small businesses afford access, and addressing the biggest cost-driver in entitlement programs that everyone acknowledges are unsustainable. It means sensible regulatory reform that reverses the growing burdens on employers that drive jobs overseas. It means a national energy policy that uses our own resources to stop our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and it means stopping the red ink that threatens to swamp our economy.”
On the President’s budget:
“Once a year Presidents are required to submit a federal budget that sets out a vision for the coming year and into the future. It is a leadership opportunity and a solemn responsibility. There was a lot of anticipation surrounding the President’s budget release last week. After all, President Obama had repeatedly and eloquently described the dire fiscal condition of the nation and he promised action. In last year’s budget proposal, he established a Fiscal Commission that issued a stern report in November calling for deep spending reductions to stave off a fiscal and economic disaster. The President himself has rightly pointed out, ‘What we have done is kicked the can down the road,’ and ‘we are now at the end of the road and [are] not in a position to kick it any further.’
“And, yet, the President’s budget did exactly that. He rejected the dire warnings and recommendations of his own Fiscal Commission and not only kicked the can down the road but made the road more perilous by advocating deeper debt and ignoring bipartisan calls for entitlement reform and pro-growth policies, including tax reform and regulatory restraint.