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Rhetoric Versus Reality

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, nearly 4 years ago, Barack Obama was swept into office by the strength of his rhetoric; but the profound difference between Mr. Obama's rhetoric and the reality Americans have actually lived under in his Presidency is something every American has a profound responsibility to understand.

Mr. Obama's rhetoric on jobs and the economy 4 years ago was:

We have to have a President who understands that the essence of the American Dream is a good job.

But the reality under Mr. Obama's Presidency is the highest sustained unemployment since the Great Depression. The percentage of people participating in America's labor market under this Presidency has fallen to 63.5 percent. That is the lowest rate since Jimmy Carter was President 31 years ago. Manufacturing unemployment has fallen to its lowest levels since 1941. The number of unemployed Americans eclipsed 15 million for the first time in history. The number of people forced to work part-time for economic reasons eclipsed 8 million for the first time in history.

Under Mr. Obama's Presidency, the average time it takes Americans to find a job reached the highest total in the history of the statistics being measured. And for the first time in history, Mr. Speaker, over 4 million Americans have stopped looking for work altogether.

Mr. Obama's rhetoric on government spending and debt 4 years ago was:

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. That's irresponsible. That's unpatriotic.

But the reality under Mr. Obama's Presidency is that he had in the first year he was in office the first $1 trillion deficit in history. He's done that 4 years in a row now. Mr. Obama always loves to blame his predecessor. However, the deficit for all of 2007 was $161 billion, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Obama increased the debt by that much in just 1 month. In 2007, America's debt to GDP ratio was 62 percent. According to IMF, it will hit 100 percent this year.

Mr. Obama spent nearly $1 trillion on a failed stimulus bill shortly after being reelected and then shoved a government takeover of our health care industry down the throats of the American people, which is now projected to cost well over $2 trillion. He spent $3 billion on a Cash for Clunkers program that went bankrupt the first week. He spent $29 million to bail out Bear Stearns, $300 to bail out Citigroup, $85 to bail out AIG, $10 billion to bail out union pension plans, and $50 billion to bail out General Motors.

Mr. Speaker, under the budgets Barack Obama has already submitted to the Congress, he will add more to America's debt than all of the outstanding debt of all of the other 43 Presidents in American history combined. Mr. Speaker, I wonder if we all understand where America is headed under this President.

Mr. Obama's rhetoric on health care 4 years ago was:

We'll work with your employer to lower your premiums by $24,500 per family, per year.

But the reality under Mr. Obama's Presidency was that the cost of American family health insurance per year has gone from $12,680 per year to over $20,000 per year in 2012. And that's before the enormous increases Americans will inevitably see under ObamaCare.

Mr. Speaker, the European socialist health care system is a nightmare, a bureaucracy, rationing, and substandard health care. Yet it is Mr. Obama's model for America.

Mr. Obama's rhetoric on energy 4 years ago was:

Creating a new energy economy isn't just a challenge to me, it's an opportunity to seize--an opportunity that will create new businesses, new industries, and millions of new jobs.

That sounded good, but the reality under Mr. Obama's Presidency is that his much-touted green jobs economy never materialized. The administration forced through a $535 million loan for Solyndra, a solar company backed by a major Obama supporter and praised by Mr. Obama himself. The company filed for bankruptcy 15 months later, after the administration intervened on the company's behalf, leaving taxpayers on the hook.

But far from learning his lesson, a few months later the administration was again doling out billions more in loan guarantees to more solar companies, many of which later held massive layoffs and went bankrupt.

All told, of the $9 billion the President has spent so far on green jobs, 910 new, long-term jobs have been created. That's $9.8 million per job charged to the American taxpayer, Mr. Speaker. So much for his millions of green jobs.

Meanwhile, the President has opposed actual progress in the energy sector, including his continued efforts to block new domestic drilling, the administration's seizure and closing of millions of acres of uranium-rich land in my own district and the Keystone Pipeline project that would have immediately created 20,000 jobs, in addition to attracting billions of dollars in new investments to a struggling Obama economy.

Perhaps none of this should be surprising coming from a President whose own Energy Secretary said:

Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Obama's rhetoric on poverty 4 years ago was:

Poverty is not an issue I just discovered for the purposes of a campaign. It is the cause that led me to a life of public service for almost 25 years.

But the reality under Mr. Obama's Presidency is that the income gap between rich and poor reached its highest level in over 40 years. In 2008, just before the President took office, there were about 39.8 million Americans living in poverty. Today, that number is nearly 50 million. Under Mr. Obama's policies, the American poverty rate hit the highest level in the 52-year history of the statistic being measured.

According to a report in the Washington Examiner, the number of able-bodied adults on food stamps doubled since Mr. Obama suspended the work requirement. More than 46 million Americans are now receiving food stamps. That's an increase of 44 percent since January of 2009. And it is higher than at any other time in American history.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Obama seems to believe that a dependent population will also be an obedient population. And so dependency and deception have become the core essence of his Presidency.

President Obama's rhetoric on foreign policy and national security 4 years ago was many different things, but the reality, under Mr. Obama, was that he has broken promises to trusted allies and told the Kremlin that he will have more ``flexibility'' to do what they want him to do after he's reelected, after the election.

Iran publicly proclaims their anxiousness to share the nuclear technology that they are so rapidly working to develop. If Iran successfully gains nuclear weapons, they will give them to terrorists the world over, Mr. Speaker, and you and I and our children, and perhaps our children's children, will live in the shadow of nuclear terrorism. Yet President Obama is actively working against efforts to secure even America's porous southern border, which is currently an incredibly inviting target for terrorists looking to smuggle a weapon of mass destruction into the United States.

Mr. Obama pledged ``unshakeable commitment'' to Israel's security. Yet he turned down a meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel to appear instead on David Letterman, and he refuses to even acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently said Israel's existence is ``an insult to all humanity,'' and Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei has called Israel a ``cancerous tumor'' that must be wiped out. Yet Mr. Obama has expressed more open rebuke toward Israel for building houses in their own capital city than he has toward Iran for building nuclear weapons with which to threaten the entire human family.

Mr. Speaker, I literally don't have time to thoroughly cover all of this administration's broken promises.

He promised to hold televised debate forums over ObamaCare. That never happened. He promised lobbyists ``won't find a job in my White House,'' but that happened at least a dozen times within the first month of his administration. He appointed more czars in his administration in America than all of the czars that ever existed in the history of Imperial Russia.

He promised to eliminate income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000. He never even tried.

He promised he wouldn't ``sign any nonemergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House Web site for 5 days.'' A little over a month into his term, that section of the White House Web site was completely removed.

Mr. Obama said the Federal Government was ``not living up to its own responsibilities,'' while his own campaign has actually sued to make it more difficult for our men and women in uniform to even vote.

Mr. Obama gave lip service to enforcing immigration laws, and then sued my State of Arizona for enforcing immigration laws his administration refused to enforce.

While forcing through government loans to failed green energy companies led by his friends like Solyndra, he has stood in the way of domestic energy production, seizing hundreds of thousands of acres of resource-rich land and blocking domestic drilling for oil, including in areas that were already open to drilling.

The day he took office, a gallon of gas was $1.89. It is almost $4 a gallon today.

Mr. Speaker, if America produced its own energy and did not buy so much oil from the Middle Eastern countries, terrorists wouldn't have enough money to buy a box of sparklers to hurt this country.

Mr. Speaker, I have tried to lay out the difference between the rhetoric and the reality of this administration.

You know, I've often heard it said in recent days that America faces a crossroads in the approaching election, but I'm afraid that's no longer the case, Mr. Speaker. No, I'm afraid America took the wrong fork in the road back when we elected Barack Obama 4 years ago, and we are now heading rapidly and precisely the wrong direction.

He has nominated judges who contemptuously ignore the Constitution. He has proudly served as the most

pro-abortion President in history. He has forced government-run healthcare down the throats of unwilling Americans. He oversaw the first downgrade of America's AAA credit rating. He has increased unemployment, increased the number of Americans on food stamps. He has thrown hundreds of billions of dollars at failed programs. He has weakened our military. He has blatantly attacked religious freedoms in America. He has allowed Iran to advance their nuclear weapons program; and while abroad, he has continually apologized for America, betrayed our friends, and emboldened our enemies. I'm afraid we see the results of some of that even in these recent days.

I would suggest to you that his promise to fundamentally transform America was no bluff, Mr. Speaker. If this is what Mr. Obama has done in his first 4 years, how much more radical will his agenda be if he secures a second term and no longer has to worry about reelection?

Mr. Speaker, for the sake of our children and our children's children, and for all of America's most noble dreams and ideals, it is absolutely vital that we elect a President who will stand up and arrest this national freefall into which Mr. Obama and his radical leftist ideology have hurled America.

May God give us all the wisdom and the courage to remember who we are as Americans and that there is still hope and time to be all that we were called by God to be as a Nation.

We must not fail, Mr. Speaker.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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