-By Warner Todd Huston
Several Illinois Republican Congressmen released statements after President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night. Congressmen Roskam, Hultgren, and Kinzinger reacted to the speech, and so did the President of the Illinois chapter of Americans for Prosperity.
First of all, Obama straight out lied several times in his speech last night. His biggest lie was the claim that he once again trotted out saying women only make 77 cents to a man’s dollar in the job market. This is simply a lie, one the left trots out repeatedly despite it being wholly false.
Obama also misled when he touted how his constantly failing Obamacare law has signed up. His claims
Other than the blatant lies, the speech was pretty much a carbon copy of every other SOTU speech he's given. Clams that he'll close Guantanamo Bay--even though he's not lifted a finger to do so in five years--on top of more claims that he wants to throw fistfuls of tax dollars at research and education and once again calling for a hike in the minimum wage, there are all things he says at every SOTU speech.
In any case, our Illinois Congressmen had some things to say about the speech, too.
We'll start with Peter Roskam, number three in the succession of GOP leadership and our 6th District Congressman. (http://roskam.house.gov/)
“Tonight the president spoke of how the American ideal of opportunity for all has suffered serious blows in recent years. He’s right: in the last five years, our labor participation rate is down to historic lows, household income is down, upward mobility has stalled and the poverty rate is far too high. Across the board the data shows that people are worse off now than when President Obama took office. Yet the president continues to cling to policy prescriptions that are the very reason so many Americans are struggling. He defends a healthcare law that is making insurance too expensive for too many. He promised tonight to dramatically increase the number and scope of burdensome government rules that increase the cost of doing business, suppress job creation and drive up energy costs for families.
“The American people do want action–but not more of the same. Instead of dividing up an increasingly shrinking slice of the pie, let’s join together in growing the whole economy for the benefit of all Americans. We can start immediately by getting big, ineffective government out of the way so businesses can grow and hire. We can build the foundations of a 21st century economy with a trade and tax agenda that lets American products and entrepreneurs compete on a global scale. The path is clear, the common ground is there, I urge the president to seize it.”
Congressman Roskam also appeared on Fox 32 that night.
Rep. Randy Hultgren of the 14th District also had something to say. (http://hultgren.house.gov/)
“Tonight, President Obama demonstrated once again he is a product of Illinois’ governing mindset, one which has driven our state to rack up billions in unpaid bills and long-term debt. If Americans want to know the President’s true vision for America, one that relies on government—not individual action—to fix our country’s ills, look no further than Illinois’ 8.7 percent jobless rate. Businesses are leaving in droves for neighboring states.
“I agree with President Obama that we need to get Americans back to work. Unfortunately, the President shares the mentality in Illinois and Washington to spend money we don’t have and force burdensome regulations on the businesses providing jobs to middle class families. He wants to go around Congress to force his agenda on Americans. I hope the President will work with Congress—not against us—to help Americans find opportunities that will carry them out of the anxiety this stagnant economy has forced them in, and into confident self-sufficiency.”
16th District Congressman Adam Kinzinger also released a short statement. (http://kinzinger.house.gov/)
“Tonight, the President talked about working across the aisle to find common ground, but words alone don’t bring about results. With families across the country struggling to make ends meet, the American people need tonight to be about more than just a speech; they need a real commitment to results, to getting people back to work, to finding bipartisan reforms to bring healthcare costs down, and to making government work for the people again. If the President wants to work with Republicans, we are willing to roll up our sleeves and have the tough conversations it will take to find common ground.”
Finally, the President of the Illinois chapter of Americans for Prosperity also issued a comment on the SOTU.
Tonight, President Obama spoke like a man living in an alternate universe. While praising entrepreneurship, hard work, personal responsibility, and equal opportunity, he doubled down on the failed policies that will continue to make it difficult for millions of Americans to achieve the American dream.
Five years after Hope and Change, 21 million Americans are still looking for work. If the economy is better, why is the Labor participation rate at its lowest point since 1978? President Obama’s policies have left too many of our fellow citizens behind.
Nowhere have his policies directly failed more Americans than his signature health care law. Politifact singled out as the “lie of the year” his broken promises that Americans could keep their health coverage. Now, millions of Americans have lost access to their doctors, millions are watching their premiums spike, and millions are being dumped onto Medicaid, a broken program with the poorest health outcomes.
The real irony is that while the poorest Americans get worse coverage and the middle class gets stuck with higher premiums, those with high incomes will continue to purchase private care – as they always have. President Obama’s policies have done nothing to expand quality, patient-centered care. They’ve simply worsened outcomes for our most vulnerable and made it more difficult for them to get ahead.
ObamaCare has fueled the rapid rise in federal spending under President Obama which threatens to smother future economic growth under a mountain of debt. There’s no hiding from the facts: Debt held by the public reached 73 percent of GDP in 2013, far higher than the 39 percent average seen over the past four decades.
And President Obama hasn’t shown any willingness to change: deficits are projected to once again rise toward the trillion dollar mark within the next ten years.
The tired, unimaginative content of the President’s speech failed to live up to its optimistic tone. President Obama means well, but he clearly fails to understand how damaging his policies are to most Americans. Before giving next year’s State of the Union address, he should meet some of the people who have lost health insurance, are fighting to find a job, and will spend much of their life paying off record federal debt. It’s time for President Obama to give economic freedom a try.