"The economy was the focus of the President's address -- as it should have been -- and I like what he said about jobs and about helping small businesses. His call for a spending freeze is a turning point for an Administration that has spent billions on stimulus packages and proposed billions more for a government takeover of health care. But this is only a first step to restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington. We have to actually reduce spending to have any effect on budget deficits.
"The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office just announced that this year's budget deficit will reach $1.35 trillion, and it described our country's fiscal situation as unsustainable. Unemployment has risen from 7.7 percent to 10.0 percent in one year, and the outstanding public debt has increased by 23 percent during that same time. Unless we change course, the President's economic policies will add more than $14 trillion to our national debt over the next ten years. My youngest granddaughter by that time will be 24 years old -- with a national debt that could be a generation killer -- her generation.
"While a spending freeze is a step in the right direction, Congress must work to hold the Administration accountable and fight to ensure that Washington gets its fiscal house in order. Congress should immediately pass strict budget caps that will limit federal spending each year and should also pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which I have long supported. Americans expect their Representatives to balance the federal budget -- just like they do every day in their homes and businesses.
"The President did not let up on his efforts to advance a multi-trillion dollar government takeover of health care that will raise taxes, raise health care costs and increase government spending. There are common-sense health care reforms that all Americans and both political parties could support that would improve access for Americans and decrease costs, without a government takeover and massive spending increases.
"Our focus needs to be on fiscal restraint combined with job creation. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and create most of the new jobs in America. We need to do all we can to help them survive -- and to thrive. They need a stable economic environment so they can hire with confidence and plan for the future. I liked the President's suggestion to cut capital gains taxes on business investments. I think he should have gone a step further by abolishing all capital gains taxes, which would spawn new capital, new investments, new jobs and new transactions.
"We cannot borrow, spend and bail our way back to a growing economy. I hope the President has learned this lesson in his first year, and I hope that he is listening to the American people."