A GOP Congressman's Response to the President's State of the Union Address

Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his first official State of the Union address. With unemployment at 10%, small businesses across America struggling to stay afloat, record government deficit spending, and an attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day, Congress has its work cut out for them.

But what should the priorities of President Obama and Congress be? How vital is it that Congress pass health care reform? Should we be focusing instead on getting Americans back to work? Are his proposals just really the same failed idea of more government spending or will the proposals actually get our economy back on track?

Roughly one year ago, when President Obama came into office, he worked with the Democrats in Congress to pass the $787 billion “stimulus” bill intended to boost the economy and prevent job loss.  Since then, approximately 2.7 million jobs have been lost across America. In Missouri alone, we have lost 39,600 jobs compared to the 40,000 jobs the White House claims the stimulus has created. Mr. President, where are the jobs?

At the same time, the federal government under President Obama and the Democratic majority continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year alone, the Democrats have spent a record $3.5 trillion, almost half of which was deficit spending. The national debt limit, which allows the federal government to borrow money to pay for government programs, has been raised four times since 2008. Since Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007, debt has increased by 39 percent, from $8.670 trillion to $12.031 trillion.

That means every man, woman, and child in America bears the burden of nearly $39,000 in federal debt. And Congress is already talking about raising the debt limit again as early as next week. Unfortunately, instead of generating jobs, reckless federal spending is weakening our economy and our nation. The administration and the majority are so intent on redistributing our nation’s wealth that they have lost sight of one important fact: the government can only redistribute wealth, it cannot generate it. Rather, it is the private sector that generates wealth and creates jobs. It is enterprising individuals with new ideas, small businesses with a great product or service, and the private sector that grow our economy and puts Americans to work.