Today, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, slammed the Obama Administration's agenda of more regulation, more taxes, and more debt, saying the White House's response to the current economic downturn has, "either not worked or made things worse for our small businesses, middle class families and job creators."
Senator Hatch was joined by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) as well as economic experts Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum and William Kovacs with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at an event earlier today examining the Administration's economic agenda and its impact on America's economic recovery.
Below, is the full text of Senator Hatch's remarks:
Last week delivered some pretty sobering economic news:
Our unemployment rate has gone back up to 9.1 percent. Housing prices remain in free fall with home values declining more than during the Great Depression.
Gas prices continue to soar. And our 14 and a half trillion dollar debt has led credit rating agencies like Moody's to call into question the United States' credit worthiness.
Unfortunately, the White House's response to this crisis has either not worked -- or made things worse for our small businesses, middle class families and job creators.
Over two years ago, this Administration pushed through a nearly trillion dollar stimulus spending bill claiming it would prevent unemployment from going over 8 percent.
Washington passed massive new federal regulations that have crippled job creation -- look at the $2.6 trillion partisan health law, Dodd-Frank, or even actions by agencies like the EPA regulating carbon.
This year, the Obama Administration has proposed $1.6 trillion in tax increases on all segments of our economy, including on the top two tax rates hitting 750,000 small businesses with flow through income.
And the answer to record gas prices - ship more American energy production and jobs overseas.
We are facing tough economic times. And we can help get America out of this severe economic downturn if Washington gets out of the way, so small businesses, middle-class families and entrepreneurs are the engines of innovation that have made America great.
That means enacting a balanced budget amendment to the constitution to force Washington to live within its means.
That means cutting back on costly red tape and stopping the job-crushing tax hikes.
That means increasing American energy production and slashing government spending that is fueling our debt crisis.
That means enacting a significant tax overhaul to simplify our burdensome and anti-competitive tax code.
That means passing these three outstanding trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and Korea that would generate over $10 billion in exports -- creating jobs and growing our economy -- but that the White House is refusing to send to Congress.
A quick last point on the debt -- that is a huge drag on a recovery. Since Medicare is the single greatest contributor to our debt and since it'll be bankrupt by 2024, it must be on the table in the deficit reduction discussions going on at Blair House.
Democrats think attacking Republicans on Medicare is good politics -- well, tell that to seniors in my state who will be left with NO benefits unless Washington reforms Medicare.
It's time to give our job creators and families the certainty they need to start hiring and get our economy moving. These are the pro-growth policies America needs -- it's time to act on them.