Paul Ryan and Michelle Bachmann each delivered responses to President Obama last night. They were eerily similar recitations of conservatives doggerel. Can you guess who said what? Answers in the comment section.
"Two years ago, when Barack Obama became our president, unemployment was 7.8 percent and our national debt stood at what seemed like a staggering $10.6 trillion dollars. We wondered whether the president would cut spending, reduce the deficit and implement real job-creating policies. Unfortunately, the president's strategy for recovery was to spend a trillion dollars on a failed stimulus program, fueled by borrowed money…Deficits were unacceptably high under President Bush, but they exploded under President Obama's direction, growing the national debt by an astounding $3.1 trillion.
"A few years ago, reducing spending was important. Today, it's imperative. Here's why: We face a crushing burden of debt. The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead…Unfortunately, instead of restoring the fundamentals of economic growth, he engaged in a stimulus spending spree that not only failed to deliver on its promise to create jobs but also plunged us even deeper into debt.The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25 percent for domestic government agencies – an 84 percent increase when you include the failed stimulus."
"There is no doubt the president came into office facing a severe fiscal and economic situation. Unfortunately, instead of restoring the fundamentals of economic growth, he engaged in a stimulus spending spree that not only failed to deliver on its promise to create jobs but also plunged us even deeper into debt…All of this new government spending was sold as "investment." Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9 percent and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt."
"The White House promised us that all the spending would keep unemployment under 8 percent. Well not only did that plan fail to deliver, but within three months the national jobless rate spiked to 9.4 percent. It hasn't been lower for 20 straight months. While the government grew, we lost more than 2 million jobs."
3. Size of government:
“The president and the Democratic leadership have shown, by their actions, that they believe government needs to increase its size and its reach, its price tag and its power.
Whether sold as "stimulus" or repackaged as "investment," their actions show they want a federal government that controls too much, taxes too much and spends too much in order to do too much.
And during the last two years, that is exactly what we have gotten – along with record deficits and debt – to the point where the president is now urging Congress to increase the debt limit.”
“Deficits were unacceptably high under President Bush, but they exploded under President Obama's direction, growing the national debt by an astounding $3.1 trillion. Well, what did we buy? Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that now tells us which light bulbs to buy, and which will put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama's health care bill."
4. Health Care
"Obamacare mandates and penalties may even force many job creators to just stop offering health insurance altogether, unless of course yours is one of the more-than-222 privileged companies or unions that has already received a government waiver under Obamacare. In the end, unless we fully repeal Obamacare, a nation that currently enjoys the world's finest health care might be forced to rely on government-run coverage. That could have a devastating impact on our national debt for even generations to come…[T]he president should repeal Obamacare and support free-market solutions, like medical malpractice reform and allowing all Americans to buy any healthcare policy they like anywhere in the United States."
"Then the president and his party made matters even worse, by creating a new open-ended health care entitlement.What we already know about the president's health care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. Job creation is being stifled by all of its taxes, penalties, mandates and fees.
Businesses and unions from around the country are asking the Obama administration for waivers from the mandates. Washington should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. The president mentioned the need for regulatory reform to ease the burden on American businesses. We agree – and we think his health care law would be a great place to start.
Last week, House Republicans voted for a full repeal of this law, as we pledged to do, and we will work to replace it with fiscally responsible, patient-centered reforms that actually reduce costs and expand coverage."
5. Rhetorical devices
"[European countries’] day of reckoning has arrived. Ours is around the corner. That is why we must act now.
Some people will back away from this challenge. But I see this challenge as an opportunity to rebuild what Lincoln called the "central ideas" of the republic."
"I believe that we are in the early days of a history-making turn in America…Our current debt crisis we face today is different, but we still need all of us to pull together. But we can do this. That's our hope. We will push forward. We will proclaim liberty throughout the land."
6. And summaries of their principles:
“We believe a renewed commitment to limited government will unshackle our economy and create millions of new jobs and opportunities for all people, of every background, to succeed and prosper. Under this approach, the spirit of initiative – not political clout – determines who succeeds…We need to reclaim our American system of limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity. And it has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. That's the real secret to job creation – not borrowing and spending more money in Washington. Limited government and free enterprise have helped make America the greatest nation on earth. These are not easy times, but America is an exceptional nation.”
“We need to start making things again in this country, and we can do that by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on job creators…Because of you, Congress is responding and we are just starting to undo the damage that's been done the last few years. Because we believe in lower taxes. We believe in a limited view of government, and exceptionalism in America. And I believe that America is the indispensable nation of the world."