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Boehner Column: The Debt is a Drag on America's Economy


Location: Washington, DC

Today, John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following column discussing the lack of action from the president to address our nation's debt:

"On September 27, the latest economic numbers for our country were released. They paint a grim picture, showing that economic growth slowed by more than a full percentage point during the second quarter of 2012.

"It is a picture with which Americans have become all too familiar during President Obama's nearly four years in office, during which the national debt has soared to more than $16 trillion.

"America needs a president with an understanding of how our economy works. We need a leader who will challenge Washington's ways and lead a bipartisan assault on the budget deficits that are holding our economy back.

"President Obama took office promising to be such a leader. But the actions he took as Chief Executive immediately revealed the emptiness of that promise.

"One of the first decisions of his presidency was to allow the liberal leaders of the Senate and the then Democratic-controlled House to write his gigantic "stimulus' bill behind closed doors with no input from across the aisle.

"The result was a bloated, pork-ridden monstrosity rammed through the House and Senate with minimal scrutiny. It added nearly a trillion dollars to the national debt. And it didn't work.

"After enactment of the "stimulus,' the national unemployment rate soared into double digits, and even today remains above eight percent -- a level the White House said we'd never exceed, and would be far below today if the bill was enacted.

"The president followed the colossal "stimulus' error with a string of policies that caused massive uncertainty among private sector job creators.

"He spent a year pushing Congress to pass a giant health care law that is raising costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire workers.

"He spent years trying to impose a new national energy tax -- first through legislation, later through new regulations -- that would raise costs for every family and business that uses energy.

"He has spent most of his presidency demanding -- and is still demanding -- a tax increase that Ernst & Young confirms will hit a large percentage of our country's small businesses and cost our economy more than 700,000 jobs.

"Policies such as these have hurt small businesses and driven work overseas, leaving Americans asking: where are the jobs?

"Experts and leaders in both parties know we won't have economic growth until we address the cloud of debt that is hanging over our economy.

"My colleagues and I in the House have voted to stop the president's small business tax hike while acting on long-term solutions to spur economic growth -- the kind of growth necessary to fix the national debt. The legislation we've passed would begin reforming our tax code, reduce spending and combat waste, and take steps to save Medicare and other critical programs that are heading toward bankruptcy.

"By contrast -- even amid constant reminders of the need for action, such as this month's GDP report -- President Obama and his Senate have done next to nothing.

"The president hasn't prodded his Senate to act or produce a budget -- a fundamental responsibility it hasn't fulfilled in more than three years.

"He has been silent on the nearly 40 jobs bills passed by the House, mostly with bipartisan support, that are gathering dust in his Senate, which refuses to act.

"And the president's budget plan has been so unserious that it received zero "yes' votes from legislators of either party when it was brought to a vote in both his Senate and the Republican-led House.

"Americans deserve leaders who will get Washington moving on solutions that bring jobs home, clear the cloud of debt, and foster long-term economic growth."

Boehner represents Ohio's 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.

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