More Government, Debt, Higher Taxes-Not Solution
By U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell
WASHINGTOn DC - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday regarding the President’s failed policies and the need for reforms to aid in job creation, decrease our national debt and strengthen our ailing economy:
“Tomorrow, the President plans to deliver a speech to once again tout his favored approach on the economy. I say that because aides to the President say we shouldn’t expect much new in the speech.
“We can expect more of the same: more government, more debt, and higher taxes to pay for it all.
“Now, according to the news reports, some Democrats are starting to get a little wary of this approach. A number of folks who worked in the Clinton Administration have suggested something more positive. But others are pleading with the President to double down on the message that government is the answer.
“So far, it appears as though the hard-left wing of the party has the upper hand.
“As liberal columnist E.J. Dionne suggested in yesterday’s Washington Post, ‘Let’s turn [Reagan’s] declaration on its head. Opposition to government isn’t the solution. Opposition to government was and remains the problem.’
“And that’s precisely what the President appears to be doing — doubling down on the same government-driven solutions that have kept the private sector mired in what some are calling the worst recovery ever.
“These folks have so much faith in government they seem blind to any failure or excess. And they make no distinction between the things government’s done well in the past, and the things it doesn’t do well now.
“They have no limiting principle whatsoever — this is their logic: if you like the Hoover Dam, you should support bureaucrats making higher salaries and better benefits than the taxpayers who are paying for them.
“If you like the transcontinental railroad, you should support a trillion dollar Stimulus bill that has been more effective at creating punch lines for late-night comedians than it has at creating jobs.
“If you like the G.I. bill then they believe you must also embrace a debt-to-GDP ratio that’s makes us look like Greece.
“These folks seem to have no limiting principle whatsoever when it comes to the growth of government. They’ve got blind faith in it. It’s the only thing they ever seem to want. And they’re completely out of touch.
“The President wants you to believe that the reason we are in this economic slump is because states and local governments have been laying off government workers. But what he doesn’t tell you and what the American people won’t hear him say tomorrow is that since the recession began, for every government worker who has lost a job, 11 private sector workers have lost theirs.
“And another thing you won’t hear the President say is that public sector unemployment is just above 4 percent, while all other private sector industries are at least twice that. So government employment isn’t the problem — it’s the private sector that is suffering, and it’s the private sector where we need to focus our policies on.
“So the battle lines are clear: after three and half years of failures, Democrats in Washington have one suggestion: more of the same. The President can repackage it however he wants tomorrow. But that’s what it amounts to: more government, more debt, and fewer jobs. And that’s not what Americans want.
“Republicans have refused to go along with this approach, and we’ll continue to oppose it until the Democrats recognize what most Americans already seem to know: government isn’t the answer to what ails us. It doesn’t mean government doesn’t do some things well. It means government has its limits.
“And we’ve reached them. I saw a story this week about a high school in Utah. It said the school’s been fined $15,000 for selling carbonated drinks. Why? Because federal nutrition guidelines say the school can’t sell sugary drinks during lunch hour. A student could buy them before lunch hour and drink them during lunch. But it can’t buy them during lunch hour and drink them during lunch. The government won’t allow it.
“We’re not talking about the transcontinental railroad here. We’re talking about a government that has no sense of its own limits under the Constitution. And a President who doesn’t seem willing to embrace anything that doesn’t start and end with a government bureaucrat calling the shots.
“It’s time for a change. And here’s what I would suggest:
“One, the Democrat-led Senate should pass a budget — it has not done so in over three years.
“Two, the Senate should take up the 28 job-related bills the House Republicans passed that are collecting dust on the Majority Leader’s desk.
“Three, we should pass compressive tax reform.
“And fourth, entitlement reform — this nation will not be able to get out from under the mountain of debt we’ve got without addressing the out of control spending related to these programs. It’s unsustainable.
“But as I said yesterday, without presidential leadership, it simply can’t happen. The same failed policies aren’t going to cut it.
“The only question is whether Democrats in Washington are capable of seeing that.”