Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, the President stated, ``with renewed confidence,'' the ``state of our Union is stronger.''
I know that the President would certainly like that to be the case, but I wonder: Is the confidence stronger for the more than 22 million unemployed and underemployed Americans and their family members who remain struggling to make ends meet?
Mr. Speaker, is the confidence of Americans renewed when they fill their gas tanks and oil tanks with fuel at record-high costs?
Mr. Speaker, is their confidence renewed when the most recent economic data show America's economy shrinking for the first time in 3 1/2 years?
The challenges facing the Nation do require smart solutions, but unlike the President, I believe smart solutions mean smarter government, not bigger government. They mean a greater emphasis on promoting individual freedoms, lower taxes, and fewer regulations in order to grow jobs and opportunities for those struggling and searching for greater opportunity. They mean fewer restrictions on accessing energy under Federal lands, which can dramatically increase domestic supply and lower energy costs for all. These are among the solutions we need.