August 21st, 2010
11:42 AM ET
8 years ago

GOP: 'It's time to change direction. It's time to listen'

Washington (CNN) - In this week's Republican internet and radio address, Rep. Charles Djou, R-Hawaii, speaks out about federal spending, the federal government's debt, and the need for fiscal discipline.

“If we keep spending too much, borrowing too much, and taxing too much – if we keep doing the same things, we’re going to get the same dismal results," Djou says. "It’s time to change direction. It’s time to listen [to the American public]."

(Read Djou's full remarks after the jump)

Republican Weekly Address
August 21, 2010
Delivered by Rep. Charles Djou, R-Hawaii

“Aloha. I’m Congressman Charles Djou.

“90 days ago, I earned the privilege of serving the people of Hawaii’s First Congressional District. Of course, it didn’t take me nearly that long to figure out that Washington does a lot more talking than listening – and a lot more spending than saving.

“For every problem facing our nation, the answer from Washington has been to spend and spend, and – if that doesn’t work – spend some more. The current Administration in Washington told us that borrowing and spending billions would create jobs ‘immediately’ and keep unemployment from exceeding eight percent. They were wrong. Instead, we’ve lost millions of jobs and unemployment remains near 10 percent.

“No price tag has been too high for Washington, and now we’re all paying the price. Altogether, we now owe more than $43,000 for each man, woman and child in the United States. That is a frightening number.

“Even more frightening is the fact that the current Administration in Washington intends to use this fiscal crisis to impose job-killing tax hikes on families and small businesses. But we will not fix the deficit until we cut spending and have real economic growth – and we will not have real economic growth if we keep raising taxes on small businesses. According to the non-partisan Joint Tax Committee, Congress’s official tax scorekeeper, half of small business income in America will face higher taxes under the president’s plan.

“If we keep spending too much, borrowing too much, and taxing too much – if we keep doing the same things, we’re going to get the same dismal results. It’s time to change direction. It’s time to listen.

“All throughout this month, Republicans have been meeting with our constituents to hear their concerns. These town hall meetings are part of our America Speaking Out project, which gives Americans a megaphone to make their voices heard and share their solutions for turning things around. To participate in this nationwide effort, all you have to do is log on to, post an idea of your own, or comment and vote on someone else’s. As we speak, thousands of ideas are percolating on America Speaking Out.

“As part of this national conversation, Republicans have proposed better solutions to provide the fiscal discipline economists say is needed to get Americans working again.

“Led by Congressmen Paul Ryan and Jeb Hensarling, Republicans on the House Budget Committee – a panel on which I serve – have identified more than $1.3 trillion in Washington spending we can cut right now. From canceling unspent ‘stimulus’ funds and TARP bailout money to freezing government pay and government hiring, these common-sense proposals recognize that what our economy needs is more private sector jobs, not more public sector programs.

“Of course, this is just a start. Much more needs to be done to make sure Washington has gone on its last spending spree, but these are steps we can take right now to demonstrate to taxpayers at home and allies abroad that America is serious about getting its fiscal house in order.

“When Congress returns in September, Speaker Pelosi should bring our $1.3 trillion in proposed spending cuts to the floor for immediate consideration. Even if the powers-that-be in Washington do not support less government and less spending, they should at least provide those of us who do with a chance to give the American people the common-sense fiscal discipline they are demanding.

“Visit to learn more and have your say. May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America. Aloha and Mahalo.”

Filed under: Charles Djou • GOP • issues • national debt
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Paul Ernest Show

    You don't jump into a creek when you know your neighbor has already poured acid into it. That is the situation with the American people. The GOP seized the microphone or bullhorn, and since then, they have attempted to mislead, misinform the American voters. Many have been so brainwashed by these ugly propaganda and now the GOP wants us to listen to a population that has already been lied to and deceived. Democrats need to truly re-educate the voter on what it has done the past two years, that are laudable. It takes lots of courage to hold a giant like BP accountable, and GOP does not have that courage, so they apologize. They are counting the amount of contribution they would loose if BP is offended.

    August 21, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. the real ib

    middle class will not get a tax break under Obama; you may think you do but Obama is good at making promises and then doing just the opposite and you will say;where's that change he promised us; oh yeah it's Bush's fault.

    August 21, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. fishy fish

    Even a 3 years old can recite the Republican plan nowadays, same old plan. Nothing new.

    August 21, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. anthony

    Republicans want to listen because they know they can't promise anything. The deficit is too big already, and they can't tax-cut their way to a balanced budget. The Bush tax cuts, the recession (which shrank the workforce, leading to a loss of tax revenues), the wars, and Medicare Part D are the reasons that the government is running a huge deficit. Spending on the health care bill has not really kicked in yet, and unlike Republican spending, the health care bill does not blow a hole in the budget because Democrats actually specified in the bill how the program is going to be funded (cutting Medicare spending, raising taxes on families making over $250,000 a year). If the government had not spent money to bail out industries, even more people would be unemployed right now. If the government had not bailed out the banks, would we still have capitalism without the banks? Republicans are probably better off not winning back the control of the House. If they do, they will find that the problems are too big for them. They will not be able to deal with the problems, because they created the problems in the first place.

    August 21, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Gobama

    We Dems have been listening to the GOP forever......Listening to their screaming, crying, name calling, lies, and obstructionism....I think it's time for us to stop listening. I for one have had enough.

    August 21, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. lost in Texas FOREVER

    if Americans are willing to put the Republicans back into power I just would love to know the reason WHY?? Perhaps the Dems haven't been the greatest solution to the problem yet, but the GOP has offered NO solutions to the problem and if tax cuts for the wealthy is supposed to creat jobs then WHERE ARE THE JOBS?? Didn't the economy start to fall under the Bush tax cuts? The only thing I can think is that the GOP is telling their CEO "buddies" not to hire anybody until they get back into power so it would appear that the GOP turned the job market back around.

    August 21, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. meinNH

    Change Direction ?

    Lower Taxes ?


    The party of NO – can not change direction.

    another election Gimmick

    August 21, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    It is time to do something for the Country. no just say NO to everything is needed. Remember Country First.....I guess......I hope

    August 21, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. iverso

    This guys is talking nothing but garbage. His party has done nothing to help us Struggling Folks that needs it. The Party of NO NO NO. I just hope the Americans Voters are not falling for all this nonsense and put the REPULICONS BACK INTO POWER IN NOV.

    August 21, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Von Bismark-Vienna

    Is this the very party that swelled the national debt from a surplus.The hypocrisy is frightening! I hope Americans will not take this bait.

    August 21, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. Randi L.

    Same old GOP talking points. Partly true. Partly false. We are borrowing and spending too much. The GOP is responsible for more than its share of the spending and borrowing. But our tax rates are the lowest they have been in 50 years.

    Sound policy would dictate higher taxes in combination with spending cuts – after the recession is over. I'm afraid today's GOP simply would rather borrow money than tax enough to balance the budget. There are no more Sen. Warren Rudmans in the GOP. Just a bunch of pandering opportunists who put power above sound policy.

    August 21, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. johnRJ08

    This isn't about federal spending. It's about the complaint of the day from Republicans in order to gin up voting issues. Republican administrations have done more to increase the debt than any Democrat administration since WWII. Reaganomics failed. George H. W. Bush had to renege on his "red my lip" promise not to raise taxes because Reagan's policies had nearly bankrupted the federal government.

    These people would only shift costs to the states, which are even less able to pay for essential programs and services. AND THE GOP KNOWS IT! That's what happened under Reagan.

    Under George W. Bush, the government grew more than in the previous 40 years, while Bush foolishly reduced revenues for cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

    Every Republican in Congress knows that the government has to increase spending in a severe downturn to offset the lack of capital in the system. Otherwise, more businesses would go bankrupt, more people would lose their jobs and more people would go on public assistance. Of course, you could cut their unemployment benefits, then you'd have tent cities and crime increasing exponentially.

    August 21, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. Grundoon

    You just can't take the GOP seriously. For one, the starting the spending train wreck and did nothing, absolutely nothing to stop it. NOW they are concerned with spending? More importantly, letting the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% will immediately resolve 30% of the deficit. These jokers are crying about how it will hurt business but business is sitting, just sitting,, on more resources they have ever had and they aren't investing. Why? Probably because they are cranked-off because someone put the long over due breaks on them. The GOP is clearly, CLEARY, out only to benefit the rich and screw the rest of us. The GOP makes me sick.

    August 21, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. kmp

    Good lord for the fiscal responsible party they certainly missed the class in not spending what you don't have. If you slash taxes it means you will not have the money to spend, seems simple enough to me.

    August 21, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. deli

    God. i pray my rosary every day to asked that u give wisdom and protection to the president of this great nation, so he can have good heart and wisdom to overcome this critism and negative compain about him. but if it is u r will he will be agin rule this country. stay beside him and lead him thru this challenge.

    August 21, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. America Shrugged

    " taxing too much " ROFLMAO....That's the problem, we aren't taxing enough while trimming the spending that doesn't create jobs nor help average americans. We cannot just slash spending and expect the deficits to magically disappear. We gave unpaid for reductions in taxes to the wealthiest people in this country that didn't create any real family wage jobs here as it was suppose to do. We did this during a time of 2 wars which also were not paid for. Why people who don't generate an income by producing something other than wealth aren't paying a % like the working people are, just isn't right. I guess labor doesn't mean much in this country anymore. We bailed out the super rich bankers on wall street, and now they are sitting on piles of money, not helping the small business owners. Shame on them. We working Americans need to put our money in local credit unions, at least the money is lent to local small businesses and creating some jobs. Go President Obama... If you can't push folks in congress to do the right thing for the people of this country, drag them if you have to. We got your back.

    August 21, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. marlene

    Rep. Djou thinks it's time for Congress to listen? Week after week, a different Republican elected official speaks to the public through the weekly address to say "nothing". After 2 years of being the "Party of NO" and obstructionist on everything being done in Congress, they try to get America to believe they have a plan. It has no ideas, no concrete policy direction – just collectively oppose everything. Now remember America this is the party of big business, big health insurance companies, big banks, big oil companies, Wall Street, the National Chamber of Commerce, the privitization of social security, prisons, education, and all regulators – anything big and nothing for middle America. Now add the birthers, the repealers of the 14th amendment, the party favoring any war, the ending of social security and you've got a party who listens to the people that think like they do. Marlene in Mich

    August 21, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. meinNH

    Do not fall for this election Gimmick.

    GOP party is for the Rich ....

    not for the 95% of american people.

    August 21, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Mike in Texas

    The Tax Policy Center finds that the Ryan plan would cut taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population in half, giving them 117 percent of the plan’s total tax cuts. That’s not a misprint. Even as it slashed taxes at the top, the plan would raise taxes for 95 percent of the population.

    In its first decade, most of the alleged savings in the Ryan plan come from assuming zero dollar growth in domestic discretionary spending, which includes everything from energy policy to education to the court system. This would amount to a 25 percent cut once you adjust for inflation and population growth. How would such a severe cut be achieved? What specific programs would be slashed? Mr. Ryan doesn’t say.

    August 21, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Livin' the good life

    This is becoming dreary. It's always the same ol' fight. Why not change direction and state WHERE you want to cut spending instead of just saying we need to stop spending? We have been hearing this ever since I was able to vote. [32 years ago] It IS becoming dreary. Step up to the plate and TELL US what YOU would cut and HOW you would SPEND! Not just say we NEED to do IT!...Beau Colby

    August 21, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Mike in Texas

    Mr. Ryan’s plan calls for steep cuts in both spending and taxes. He’d have you believe that the combined effect would be much lower budget deficits, and, according to that Washington Post report, he speaks about deficits “in apocalyptic terms.” And The Post also tells us that his plan would, indeed, sharply reduce the flow of red ink: “The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan would cut the budget deficit in half by 2020.”

    But the budget office has done no such thing. At Mr. Ryan’s request, it produced an estimate of the budget effects of his proposed spending cuts — period. It didn’t address the revenue losses from his tax cuts.

    The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has, however, stepped into the breach. Its numbers indicate that the Ryan plan would reduce revenue by almost $4 trillion over the next decade. If you add these revenue losses to the numbers The Post cites, you get a much larger deficit in 2020, roughly $1.3 trillion.

    August 21, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Shannon

    Same old same old, where was he when Bush was spending us into the ground. Now he speaks out, when the wealthiest Americans are about to lose their big windfall from former President Bush, that's right sir, keep the rich richer, and call the unemployed lazy. That's a typical Republican for you!

    August 21, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Future expat

    What have we gotten from the last three republican presidents? Wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, increased deficits, and a shrunken middle class.

    Yeah, let's keep going down that road, great idea.

    August 21, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. Mike in Texas

    After 2020, the main alleged saving would come from sharp cuts in Medicare, achieved by dismantling Medicare as we know it, and instead giving seniors vouchers and telling them to buy their own insurance. Does this sound familiar? It should. It’s the same plan Newt Gingrich tried to sell in 1995.

    And we already know, from experience with the Medicare Advantage program, that a voucher system would have higher, not lower, costs than our current system. The only way the Ryan plan could save money would be by making those vouchers too small to pay for adequate coverage. Wealthy older Americans would be able to supplement their vouchers, and get the care they need; everyone else would be out in the cold.

    In practice, that probably wouldn’t happen: older Americans would be outraged — and they vote. But this means that the supposed budget savings from the Ryan plan are a sham.

    August 21, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. maf

    The GObP just lines them up and then week after week, they spew the same old blah, blah, blah. There are never any NEW solutions from the Party of NO, just the same harping on what's wrong. They have taken NO part in constructive solutions to issues that started well before President Obama took office. They must be thinking that if they spew this crap long enough, everyone will believe it.

    Personally, I don't think it will work! I think that every GObP candidate that is up for re-election in November and 2012, better have their resumes in order, as this will be a very difficult job market for someone who has not really done what their job description sets out for them to do!

    Don't let the obstructionists have their way!! Let them know they are accountable to the people!!!

    August 21, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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