(Read Hoekstra's complete remarks after the jump)
Remarks of Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Michigan
Weekly Republican Address
May 1, 2010
“Hi – I’m Congressman Pete Hoekstra from Michigan. Today, President Obama will deliver the commencement address at the University of Michigan, my alma mater. This is a moment filled with optimism and pride – for both the graduates and their families. I join with Michiganders across the state in welcoming President Obama to our home.
“We also welcome the opportunity to show the President – first hand – the painful plight of the people of Michigan. Like countless Americans, they face fewer jobs and fewer opportunities today than when he took office. The Democrats have run Congress since 2007, and yet when the residents of Michigan and across America ask themselves are they better off now than they were four years ago, the answer is – inevitably – ‘no.’
“The problem is worst among our young people. Many of the graduates President Obama will address will soon learn first-hand how tough it is to find a job in this economy. In fact, the share of young Americans out of work – 37 percent, to be exact – is the highest it’s been in more than 50 years.
“Americans are asking ‘where are the jobs?’ Washington’s answer, ‘trust us,’ rings as hollow today as it did a year ago, and a year before that. In Michigan and in Washington, sprawling government expansion has weighed heavily on the backs of people already pushed to the breaking point.
“Enough is enough. We simply can’t go on like this. That’s why Republicans have proposed smart, common-sense solutions to create jobs, reduce spending, and clear the way for American opportunity and ingenuity to lead us to a better future.
“But Democrats in Washington have repeatedly chosen to go it alone with their partisan, big-government, tax-borrow-and-spend agenda. We saw it with the economic stimulus spending, the-cap and-trade bill, with health care, and we’re now seeing it again with the bailout bill President Obama and Democrats are trying to rush through Congress.
“The American people have spoken loud and clear: They’ve told us ‘No more bailouts. Never again.’ We’ve heard you, and that’s why Republicans have been working in good faith to guarantee this legislation would protect taxpayers from being forced to bail out Wall Street banks yet again.
“Of course, we’ve seen this tired partisan playbook from Washington Democrats before: it’s exactly how a trillion-dollar government takeover of health care that Americans strongly opposed became the law of the land.
“An Obama Administration report released last week says that under the new health care law, national health care costs will increase – increase – by $311 billion over the next 10 years. A month ago, they said it would lower costs. Today, they admit it will increase costs. Why didn’t the American people get the real truth before the bill was passed?
“Need another example? Remember how President Obama pledged that his trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ would create jobs immediately and keep unemployment below eight percent? Well, our economy has lost millions of jobs since then and unemployment is near double-digits nationwide – and above 14 percent here in Michigan.
“The one thing the American people wanted out of the ‘stimulus’ was jobs – it didn’t happen.
“The one thing the American people wanted out of health care reform was lower costs – it didn’t happen.
“The American people want financial reforms that end the bailouts, don’t kill jobs, and address the root causes of the financial crisis. But do you think we can trust Washington to deliver?
“The House passed a bill that makes the bailouts permanent, and the Senate bill kills jobs, hurts small businesses on Main Street, and does nothing to address the government mortgage companies that caused the meltdown by giving too many high-risk loans to people who couldn’t afford it.
“Republicans are standing with the American people and the people of Michigan by fighting for an end to permanent bailouts, ending wasteful Washington spending, and proposing a plan that would address the root causes of the financial crisis. We are standing for real solutions.
“Today’s graduates at the University of Michigan are looking for the economic freedom and opportunity of every previous American generation. Let’s give it to them.
“Thanks for listening.”