By Brandon Moseley
On Thursday, March 26, President Barack H. Obama visited Birmingham where he delivered a speech on "Middleclass Economics." US Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) issued a statement on the President's visit.
Congressman Palmer wrote, "As an Alabamian, I want to welcome President Obama to my State. Alabama is a diverse state, famous for its wonderful people, thriving industries, top-flight institutions of higher education, and world-class sports. I hope President Obama enjoys our Southern hospitality."
Representative Palmer said, "I understand that the purpose of the President's trip is to give a speech on economic development. I agree that economic development is of paramount importance, particularly for lower and middle income Americans. However, after more than six years of President Obama's Administration, I believe he has taken the wrong approach. Recovery from the recession has been historically slow, and millions have dropped out of the workforce. The brunt of this stagnant economy has fallen primarily on the poor."
Rep. Palmer said, "The President's response to this has been to impose economy stifling environmental regulations that are driving up energy costs that are particularly hard on senior citizens and low to middle income families. This is precisely the wrong approach. Recovery from the most recent recession is the slowest in the past 70 years, but utilizing America's vast energy resources within a framework of reasonable regulations that will unleash our potential as an energy super power and launch the economic recovery we desperately need."
Rep. Palmer concluded, "So while I welcome President Obama to Alabama, I also encourage him to take another look at what his policies thus far have meant for the economy, and to chart a different course than he has taken for his first six years in office. Only sustained growth in our economy, which has been lacking under his Administration, will provide lower and middle income Americans with the opportunities they need to better their situation and share fully in the promise of America."
US Representative Bradley Byrne agreed in his own Facebook comments, "President Obama was in Alabama today to talk about 'middle class economics.' Unfortunately, too many Americans are still struggling under the President's top-down economic approach. While in Alabama, I hope the President realized that the key to economic growth isn't more government influence, but actually a smaller, less intrusive federal government."
In his speech, President Obama defended his economic policies. The President said, "The good news is, right now, we're on a 60-month streak of private sector job creation -- Sixty months, that's five years, that's a long time. We've created 12 million new jobs. Nationwide, the unemployment rate has fallen -- when I came into office, that first year it was 10 percent; now it's 5.5 percent. There are more job openings than at any time since 2001."
The President said, "Meanwhile, our high school graduation rate is up, at an all-time high. More than 16 million Americans have gained the security of health insurance. We're producing more energy than ever before -- oil and gas, but also wind power and solar power. Meanwhile, lower gas prices should save the typical family this year about $700 at the pump. And the good news is wages are even on the rise again, and that's going to help a lot of families."