Opinion: Weekly Remarks: Obama sees new jobs in innovation; GOP’s Jeb Hensarling says spending must be cut


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Weekly remarks by President Obama, as provided by the White House
This week, we received a report on jobs and unemployment that told us we’re continuing to move in the right direction. But we need to get there faster. In the short-term, the bipartisan tax cut we passed in December will give an added boost to job creation and economic growth. This is a tax cut that is already making Americans’ paychecks a little bigger and giving businesses more incentive to invest and hire.

But ultimately, our true measure of progress has to be whether every American who wants a job can find one; whether the jobs available pay well and offer good benefits; whether people in this country can still achieve the American Dream for themselves and their children. That’s the progress we’re after.


To get there, we have to realize that in today’s global, competitive economy, the best jobs and newest industries will take root in the countries with the most skilled workers, the strongest commitment to research and technology, and the fastest ways to move people, goods, and information. To win the future, America needs to out-educate, out-innovate, and out-build the rest of the world.

On Thursday, I went to Penn State University, whose students and researchers are poised to lead the way on....

...innovation and job creation. They’re taking up the challenge we’ve issued to scientists and engineers all across the country: if you assemble teams of the best minds in your field, and focus on tackling the biggest obstacles to providing America with clean, affordable energy, we’ll get behind your work. Your government will support your research.

The folks in Pennsylvania have decided to focus on designing buildings that save more energy -– everything from more efficient lighting and windows to heating and cooling. This won’t just cut down on energy pollution, it can save us billions of dollars on our energy bills.

Most of all, discovering new ways to make buildings more energy-efficient will lead to new jobs and new businesses. Over the last two years, we’ve seen a window manufacturer in Maryland boost business by 55%. A lighting company in North Carolina hired hundreds of workers. A manufacturer in Pennsylvania saw business increase by $1 million.

All we did for these companies was provide some tax credits and financing opportunities. And that’s what we want to do going forward, so that it’s profitable for American businesses to sell the discoveries made by the scientists at Penn State and other hubs of innovation. If businesses sell these discoveries –- if they start making windows and insulation and buildings that save more energy – they will hire more workers. And that’s how Americans will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future.

Our government has an obligation to make sure that America is the best place on Earth to do business – that we have the best schools, the best incentives to innovate, and the best infrastructure. Next week, I’ll see that kind of infrastructure when I visit Marquette, Michigan – a place where high-speed broadband is connecting a small town to the larger world.

Supporting businesses with this kind of 21st century infrastructure and cutting-edge innovation is our responsibility. But businesses have a responsibility, too. If we make America the best place to do business, businesses should make their mark in America. They should set up shop here, and hire our workers, and pay decent wages, and invest in the future of this nation. That’s their obligation. And that’s the message I’ll be bringing to American business leaders at the Chamber of Commerce on Monday –- that government and businesses have mutual responsibilities; and that if we fulfill these obligations together, it benefits us all. Our workers will succeed. Our nation will prosper. And America will win the future in this century just like we did in the last. ####

Weekly remarks by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, as provided by Republican Party leadership
Hi, I’m Congressman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, and I serve as chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Now down here in Texas, we have a saying: ‘when you’re digging a deep hole for yourself, stop digging.’

Now this isn’t a rule the powers-that-be in Washington have been willing to follow, and because of that, American workers are clearly paying the price.

Under President Obama’s economic policies, we’ve seen not only our first, but our second trillion dollar deficit in our nation’s history, and we are well on our way to our third.

These deficits are unsustainable and unconscionable. They add uncertainty to our economy. They weaken confidence in our government. And they keep job-creating investment on the sidelines.

Now to help get our economy back to creating jobs, we need to end the spending binge in Washington and get government out of the way. We need to stop the digging. That’s what history tells us, it’s what economists tell us, and that’s what the American people are demanding.

Instead of working with us to cut spending though, President Obama has asked Congress to yet again increase the debt limit. Now no one wants America to default on its debt.

But if the President wants our help to pay off his debts, he’s going to have to begin the process of cutting up the credit cards. In other words, we need major spending cuts and major spending reforms.

Unfortunately, instead of committing to these cuts and reforms, the President has called for -– are you ready for this – even more ‘stimulus’ spending, as ineffective as it’s been.

Now, you’ve probably heard the President talk about cutting spending, but what he’s really after is savings to pay for more quote-unquote ‘investments’ in yet even more ‘stimulus’ programs.

You know, my questions for the president are these: Mr. President, how does spending us down the road to national bankruptcy help us ‘win the future’? And Mr. President, how does borrowing even more money from the Chinese make us more competitive?

After two years, it’s pretty clear: we can’t borrow, spend, and bail out our way to economic prosperity. No nation can. So while I appreciate the President’s ‘can-do’ rhetoric, his job-destroying policies won’t do, and that’s what matters most to American families.

Now the new House majority is listening to the people and taking a responsible approach to cutting spending and growing our economy. Here’s what we’ve done since going to work on behalf of the American people just one month ago today:

We voted to reduce the deficit by $700 billion and to reduce spending by more than $2.6 trillion by repealing the job-destroying health care law. This week, our Republican colleagues in the Senate kept their promise to fight for repeal.

We voted to save taxpayers $617 million by ending taxpayer funding for political candidates and conventions.

We banned Congressional earmarks and cut our own budget by five percent, because you’ve got to lead by example.

We’ve changed the culture of the House by holding weekly “YouCut” votes to actually cut spending and eliminate wasteful government programs.

And this month, we will put forward a continuing budget resolution that outlines billions of dollars in spending cuts because we pledged to cut spending back to the pre-‘stimulus,’ pre-bailout levels.

In order to get American back to work and create jobs, there is no limit to the amount of spending that we’re going to be willing to cut.

Of course, Americans know you don’t simply ‘win’ the future, you’ve got to plan for it.

That’s what makes this issue so important. Washington’s spending binge isn’t just hurting our workers, it’s threatening our children’s future as well.

We’ve reached a tipping point where we are firmly on course to be the first generation in America’s history to leave the next generation with less freedom and a lower standard of living. In other words, loss of the American Dream.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If we are principled, if we are courageous and smart, together we can preserve the torch of liberty for our children and grandchildren and they will have a brighter future. Thank you for listening. ####


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Photo credits: Pete Souza / White House; Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press; Hensarling’s office.