01.25.2011 0

What the President Shouldn’t Say Tonight In the State of the Union

NRD Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at IBD.

By Rep. Kevin Brady –

This evening, in fulfillment of Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, President Obama will give the State of the Union address.

Tonight, this president is at a crossroads.

Will he level with the American people and make a meaningful shift in administration policies or will he merely recast the same old policies with new rhetoric?

As the American people have discovered, soaring rhetoric is no substitute for effective leadership on the key issues facing our nation: jobs, runaway spending and an exploding government debt.

Therefore, I hope that we don’t hear the following:

I hope the president doesn’t apply the word “invest” as a synonym for “spend.” Under President Obama, the U.S. has one of the worst budget deficits in the developed world. Our federal debt is exponentially increasing by $54,373 every second.

At this dangerous rate, our debt will be $18.6 trillion at the end of the president’s term — an unimaginable explosion of 75% above and beyond the debt accumulated by all of his 43 predecessors combined.

America’s fiscal future is frightening. We must cut federal spending — every wasted dollar, every low priority program and every unconstitutional overreach — every day.

I hope the president doesn’t continue to claim credit for “pulling our economy back from the brink and restoring growth.”

Historically, Americans are almost genetically predisposed to bounce back from tough economic times — but not this time. Due to Obama’s failed economic policies, this recovery is one of the weakest in history.

Mr. President, do yourself a favor and stop claiming your stimulus plan has “created or saved” 2.7 million to 3.7 million jobs.

According to your own Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. has lost more than 2.1 million nonfarm payroll jobs between the time your stimulus program began in February of 2009 and last month.

Instead of broken promises and bad policy, work with Republicans in Congress to implement pro-growth policies that will put Americans back to work and get our economy back on track.

I hope the president doesn’t claim he “heard the American people” and “got the message” from the November election, while his administration feverishly works to impose the greatest expansion of federal laws and regulations since the New Deal.

President Obama’s intrusive initiatives are disrupting job creation throughout the economy. New laws and hyperactive regulators have impeded our recovery by increasing uncertainty.

We must push the Senate to join the House in the repeal of ObamaCare and to replace it with common-sense, market-oriented reforms. We must also review the reams of new regulations and where appropriate reverse them.

I hope that the president doesn’t continue to pour billions of dollars into subsidies in an attempt to create green energy jobs or invest in premature technologies, while shutting down proven energy sources.

America is the world’s leader in green energy technology because of the market, not federal intervention. After the Macondo oil spill, Obama — hastily and without scientific basis — shut down oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and blocked exploration off the coasts of Alaska and Virginia. Although the spill ended in August and the administration lifted the official moratorium, nothing has changed.

Their unreasonable “permitorium” continues to prevent energy workers from returning to work. Meanwhile, the price of crude oil has risen from around $75 to around $90 per barrel, which leaves the average price of gasoline well above $3 per gallon and heading north. End the subsidies, end the moratoriums and restore the power of American-made energy.

Finally, I hope that the president doesn’t lose sight of the fact that Americans compete on a global playing field.

America is falling behind our foreign competitors, losing job opportunities and hurting our global credibility by refusing to engage in trade.

Recently, President Obama appears to have finally heard the message that American jobs and our economic future depend on expanding U.S. trade.

The National Export Initiative is a step in the right direction, as are the completed negotiations on the U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement. Until this president puts his capital and effort behind the trade agreements with Colombia and Panama as well, U.S. jobs will be lost here at home and our competitors will continue to take advantage of this president’s timidity.

With high unemployment and U.S. businesses and farmers seeking new customers, why would President Obama continue to balk at the opportunity to sell $13 billion more in American products and services to new customers in these lucrative markets?

I am sure President Obama will deliver a great speech. He usually does.

However, I hope that his words will be matched with deeds. Soaring rhetoric will not restore the American people’s confidence in their government. President Obama needs to signal that there has been a serious change in direction, not just another rhetorical pivot.

I, for one, am hoping for change.

Brady represents Texas’ eighth congressional district and serves as ranking Republican on the Joint Economic Committee.

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