House Republican Policy Committee Chairman James Lankford (R-OK) expressed disappointment in the focus of President Obama's State of the Union address this evening. Despite President Obama's claims that Americans don't expect the government to solve every problem, his speech was filled with big-government federal proposals, new programs and the general sentiment that the federal government should solve every problem.
"President Obama once again demonstrated his ability to deliver a rousing speech, but it is obvious that his policies won't deliver a rousing economy," said Lankford. "The majority of the priorities and solutions he proposed tonight are not in line with the realities facing American families. Many of the proposals the President laid out are already in action in Oklahoma. We do not need a federal mandate for our state to do what we already do well."
"The president's emphasis on climate change and more expensive mandates on business will not produce the economic climate change this nation desperately needs. Small businesses already face a complicated tax code, suffocating regulations and escalating healthcare costs. If we expect them to be the engine of our economy, we cannot continue to ask them to do more with less," Lankford continued.
"After decades of talking about a national energy policy, we are finally within sight of North American energy independence. Great paying jobs are springing up all over the nation, as we discover new energy resources. But in spite of all this new technology and innovation, the Administration has worked to slow the development of traditional energy on federal lands and has added an overwhelming regulatory burden on energy production. I welcome the President's statement that we should reduce the red tape slowing development of oil and gas on federal lands. American families are paying more for gasoline and electricity because of existing federal regulations, not limited energy supply," Lankford continued.
"In his inaugural address a few weeks ago and again tonight, the President posited that we can care for this generation while still investing in future generations. With more and more people retiring every day, Americans living longer and an entire generation of baby boomers about to begin drawing Social Security and Medicare, our current entitlement system simply will not exist for future generations without significant reform."
"Contrary to Democrat claims in recent days, our government does have an indisputable spending problem. After the President's healthcare plan and new 2013 tax increases, the government will take in the highest amount of money in the history of our nation thus year. We have more revenue now than ever, but the President continues to look for new ways to tax," continued Lankford. "We cannot tax our way out of our economic malaise. The President assured us tonight that his proposals will not add a dime to the deficit, but he did not assure us that they would reduce the deficit by even a dime."
"The President's budget is now more than a week late, and it's been almost four years since the Senate passed a budget of its own. American workers need to know that their government will focus on the debt destabilizing our economy and the regulations limiting job growth. With the national debt rapidly approaching $17 trillion and an unemployment rate hovering at or above 8% since December 2008, now is not the time to lose focus on jobs and the economy," Lankford concluded.