Opinion: Weekly remarks: GOP’s Kevin McCarthy celebrates new party pledge; Obama says recession over but...

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Weekly remarks by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, as provided by Republican congressional leadership
Hi, I’m Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California.

This week Republicans made a Pledge to America.

Our new governing agenda answers the question so many Americans are asking: will we leave to our children a stronger, healthier, more prosperous country than our parents left us? As we stand here before you, the future of our country hangs in the balance. Across this great nation, mothers and fathers wonder if their children will find the same opportunities for success that existed just a generation ago.

Can you blame them? As a result of the economically disastrous policies of the current....

...administration, millions of Americans are out of work today, and our children will be saddled with a deficit and debt that is -- by every definition -- out of control.

We have more people depending on food stamps to feed their families than at any point in history. The economy is so dire that one in six Americans has to rely on government assistance for financial support. One in six. The land of opportunity has become the land of shrinking prosperity.

Americans across the country are outraged, and so are we. ust as John Hancock boldly signed his name to the Declaration of Independence so that even Britain’s King George could read it, I want to say this slowly so there is no room for misinterpretation…

Our government has failed us.

From the billion-dollar bailouts to the ‘stimulus’ package that failed to stimulate to the government takeover of health care, you cried “STOP!”…but the Democratic Majority in Washington has refused to listen.

I am speaking to you on behalf of Republicans to tell you that we’ve been listening, and we’ve heard you. We heard you loud and clear, and we assure you that there is nothing more inspiring than the common voice of the common man.

When you said you wanted a prosperous, competitive economy, we heard you.

When you said you wanted a more accountable government, we heard you.

When you said you didn’t want a government takeover of health care, we heard you.

We know that you want a government dedicated to working for the people, and that’s why we’ve written this Pledge to America. This pledge isn’t about Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives – it’s about you.

This pledge focuses largely on three things:

• a plan to create jobs, end economic uncertainty, and make America more competitive;
• a plan to cut wasteful Washington spending and reduce the size of government;
• a plan to reform Congress and restore trust in government.

“The new agenda embodies Americans’ rejection of the notion that we can simply tax, borrow and spend our way to prosperity. It offers a new way forward that hasn’t been tried in Washington – an approach focused on cutting spending – which is sadly a new idea for a Congress accustomed to always accelerating it.


“To put Americans back to work, our agenda seeks to eliminate uncertainty for the private-sector innovators and entrepreneurs who create jobs.

And it commits to immediate action to change the way Congress works, recognizing that the current structure is rigged to minimize public scrutiny and facilitate unnecessary spending.

This pledge is a governing agenda that could be implemented right now if the powers-that-be in Washington would allow it. We are calling on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to implement these proposals before Congress adjourns for the fall.

We go forward now with optimism and a firm belief that we live in a land of great promise and great possibilities… a land where – until recently, our tomorrows have held more promise than our yesterdays.

We are not ready to concede the fight for the prosperity of our country. We refuse to believe that the same American dream that shone so brightly for our parents has dimmed for our children. We must reverse our current course of action and reject the job-killing policies of the Democratic Majority. We will take back our country and restore our right to a better future. This is our pledge to America. ####

Weekly remarks by President Obama, as provided by the White House
This week, the economists who officially decide when recessions start and end declared the recession of 2008 to be over. But if you’re one of the millions of Americans who lost your home, your job, or your savings as a consequence of the recession, this news is of little comfort or value.

Yes, the economy is growing instead of shrinking, as it was in 2008 and the beginning of 2009. We’re gaining private sector jobs each month instead of losing 800,000, as we did the month I took office.

But we have to keep pushing to promote growth that will generate the jobs we need, and repair the terrible damage the recession has done. That’s why I’ve proposed a series of additional steps: accelerated tax breaks for businesses who buy equipment now; a permanent research and development tax break to promote innovation by American companies; and a new initiative to rebuild America’s roads, rails, and runways that will put folks to work and make our country more competitive.

Taken together with the small business tax cut and lending plan we passed through Congress last week, these steps will help spur jobs in the short run, and strengthen our economy for the long run.

Now, the Republicans who want to take over Congress offered their own ideas the other day. Many were the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which isn’t surprising, since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed policy.

It is grounded in same worn out philosophy: cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; cut the rules for Wall Street and the special interests; and cut the middle class loose to fend for itself. That’s not a prescription for a better future. It’s an echo of a disastrous decade we can’t afford to relive.

The Republicans in Washington claimed to draw their ideas from a website called “America Speaking Out.” It turns out that one of the ideas that’s drawn the most interest on their website is ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

Funny thing is, when we recently closed one of the most egregious loopholes for companies creating jobs overseas, Republicans in Congress were almost unanimously opposed. The Republican leader John Boehner attacked us for it, and stood up for outsourcing, instead of American workers.

So, America may be speaking out, but Republicans in Congress sure aren’t listening. They want to put special interests back in the driver’s seat in Washington. They want to roll back the law that will finally stop health insurance companies from denying you coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition. They want to repeal reforms that will finally protect hardworking families from hidden rates and penalties every time they use a credit card, make a mortgage payment, or take out a student loan.

And for all their talk about reining in spending and getting our deficits under control, they want to borrow another $700 billion, and use it to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. On average, that’s a tax cut of about $100,000 for millionaires.

Instead of cutting taxes for the wealthiest few – tax breaks we cannot afford – I’ve called for tax cuts for middle class families who saw their incomes shrink by five percent during the last, lost decade. We’ve already cut 8 different taxes for small business owners to help them hire and grow, and we’re going to cut 8 more. We’re challenging our states and schools to do a better job educating our kids and making college more affordable so America can once more lead the world in the proportion of our kids graduating from college. And we’re putting an end to the days of taxpayer-funded bailouts so Main Street never again has to pay for Wall Street’s mistakes.

America is a great country. Our democracy is vibrant, our economy is dynamic, and our workers can outcompete the best of them. But the way for us to remain the greatest country on Earth isn’t to turn back the clock and put the special interests in charge. It’s to make sure all our people are getting a fair shake. It’s to make sure everyone who’s willing to work for it still has a chance to reach for the American dream. And that will remain my mission every single day so long as I have the honor of serving as President. Have a nice weekend, everybody. ####

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