Tonight, President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to unveil his initiative to create jobs. During the speech, he introduced his plan to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, and spend more than $200 billion on new infrastructure and in grants to state and local governments. In total, the president’s plan is expected to cost approximately $450 billion. The president promised that offsets of these costs would be a part of his plan, but didn’t mention any specifics during the actual speech. Below is Congressman Westmoreland’s reaction to the speech.
“Tonight, President Obama introduced his latest ‘jobs’ plan, the American Jobs Act. It’s a catchy name, sure, but I’m certain the people of Georgia’s Third Congressional District aren’t fooled by this catchy name. Like me, they look at this ‘jobs’ plan and see what it really is: more of the same old, same old.
“I mean, haven’t we already been down this road? Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars thrown down the drain, chasing the belief that government is the only answer; that government must step in to save our economy. Isn’t this exactly what we saw a little more than two years ago when the president promised us that if we passed his $800 billion stimulus plan, unemployment wouldn’t rise above eight percent? Instead, as we all remember, all we saw was unemployment reach an unimaginable 10 percent and our national debt reach an astounding $14 trillion. And all the while, the president promised over and over that his new $450 billion so-called jobs bill would be paid for. I guess he’s right. It will be paid for by our children and grandchildren for generations – just like his last stimulus.
“The president’s speech tonight shows the stark difference between his beliefs and mine. He believes that government creates jobs. He believes that overregulation is necessary because small businesses don’t have enough to worry about. I just don’t agree. I believe that it is American ingenuity and the hard work of the American worker that drives this economy. I believe that private industry creates jobs and that through them we can revive our economy and return this country to the greatness we know it can be. And I believe that overly burdensome regulations put a strangle-hold on our small businesses and discourage them from expanding and hiring new people.
“Our economy is in a tough spot and we need serious reforms to our system to get us back on track. Unfortunately, it seems President Obama just wants to keep plugging away at his failed policies. We were told tonight’s speech would be a grand agenda; a new idea to get Americans back to work. And instead, I feel like it’s 2009 all over again. It reminds me of that old saying, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. While I would never call the President of the United States insane, it does make you think.
“Since gaveling the 112th Congress into session this January, House Republicans have spent this year working on legislation to encourage private companies to expand and grow, to alleviate the onerous regulations that strangle job creation, and to scale back federal spending. Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats and President Obama have done everything in their power to stop this – continuing their plan to spend us out of this recession. Now is the time for real action, not more speeches. The president needs to abandon his failed policies and work with House Republicans to enact legislation that will actually get Americans back to work and get our economy back on track,” stated Westmoreland.