Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, made the following statement in response to President Obama's State of the Union address:
"Tonight, the President took one step forward and two steps back. I applaud him for recognizing the most pressing domestic problems are rising unemployment and debt. However, instead of stopping his big government agenda, he's decided to dig in his heels and went even further with new spending and tax plans. The President announced a small step forward to freeze spending, but we will never stop the out of control debt unless we make serious spending cuts. And you cannot reconcile his promise to freeze spending with his laundry list of new Washington programs.
"His push to put earmark requests on one website is not nearly enough to stop the corruption in Congress. We can see earmarks as plain as day now, but big spending politicians are unashamed. President Obama has signed thousands of earmarks into law and didn't raise any objection when his party used earmarks as bribes like the Cornhusker Kickback. We should permanently end the earmark favor factory, but if the President won't do that, he should at least impose a moratorium on this waste until we balance the budget.
"The President seems to believe Washington can plan Americans' lives better than they can themselves. But Americans know that Washington isn't the answer, it's the problem. America is a great nation because for 200 years we limited the size of government and allowed people the freedom to succeed and innovate. Our current economic problems weren't caused because Americans were too free; they were largely caused because Washington has grown too big. Americans have rejected this big government job-killing agenda and want us to focus on commonsense reforms that expand freedom and opportunity," said Senator DeMint.
Senator DeMint believes that if the President truly wanted to do something to address the problems our nation faces, he would:
* Stop all scheduled tax increases and push Congress to cut taxes across the board so no American pays more than 25 percent of their income in federal taxes.
* Cut federal spending down to 20 percent of GDP, its post-WWII average as a share of the economy, and impose a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced.
* Keep the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay open to ensure that terrorists cannot be released or transferred into the United States.
* Protect our nation's intelligence community from civil liability stemming from the actions that prevent acts of terrorism.
* Lower health care costs without growing the government by limiting frivolous medical lawsuits and by allowing Americans to access health plans across state lines.
* Lower energy prices and reduce our dependence on Middle East oil by allowing exploration in Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf.
* Enhance primary and secondary education by reforming the No Child Left Behind law so states have the flexibility to innovate and achieve results in the classroom.
* Protect American purchasing power by curbing the "easy money" policy at the Federal Reserve, repealing TARP, and privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.