May 15th, 2010
09:57 AM ET
13 years ago

Republicans put heat on Obama for economic polices

(CNN) – Rep. Chris Lee, R- New York, takes aim at President Obama’s economic policies in the weekly GOP radio and Internet address, suggesting the president and leaders in Washing do “more talking than listening.”

The comments from Lee, who represents the suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester, come two days after Obama visited Buffalo to promote the economic reform bill now being debated in the Senate.

“President Obama visited our area this week, and it was my hope that he would listen – really listen – to what the people are saying,” Lee says in the address. “I’ve been in Congress now 16 months, but it doesn’t take that long to figure out that Washington does more talking than listening. And it certainly does more spending than saving, often in the name of creating jobs that never seem to come.”

“Consider this: since President Obama was sworn into office, our national debt has risen by more than $2 trillion to a record $12.9 trillion. In just two more years, according to the President’s own estimates, our national debt will surpass the size of our entire economy,” Lee also says in the address. “And unless we change course, our debt will reach levels now being experienced by Greece, whose debt is projected to reach 125 percent of its economy this year. Greece is already in the process of receiving an international bailout.”

Full transcript after the jump:

“Hello – I’m Congressman Chris Lee, and I have the great privilege of representing New York’s 26th Congressional District, which includes the suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester.

“President Obama visited our area this week, and it was my hope that he would listen – really listen – to what the people are saying. I’ve been in Congress now 16 months, but it doesn’t take that long to figure out that Washington does more talking than listening. And it certainly does more spending than saving, often in the name of creating jobs that never seem to come. The trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ was supposed to keep unemployment below eight percent, but joblessness is now near ten percent.

“The new health care bill is faring no better. It was supposed to lower Americans’ health care costs, but the Obama Administration’s own experts determined that it will actually increase them. It was supposed to help reduce the deficit, but the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office now says the new law will cost taxpayers more than one trillion dollars.

“And now, after leaving taxpayers on the hook for massive ‘stimulus’ programs and permanent bailouts, Democrats in Washington have no credible plan to put our fiscal house in order. In fact, House Democrats may not even offer a budget this year.

“Families are making tough choices each month in order to live within a budget, and government should be doing the same. One Democratic leader in Congress has called the budget ‘the most basic responsibility of governing.’ Another Democratic leader has said, ‘if you can’t budget, you can’t govern.’ But now these same Democrats just want to continue spending money we don’t have, and they want to do it without a budget.

“This is a remarkable failure of leadership: according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, not passing a budget resolution would be unprecedented in the modern era.

“And for you and your families, it means a missed opportunity to provide the fiscal discipline economists say is needed to create jobs and boost the economy. What’s worse, the fewer sacrifices Washington makes now, the more Americans will be asked to give up later in the form of massive, job-killing tax hikes.

“This is a recipe for economic disaster, and it has to change.

“Consider this: since President Obama was sworn into office, our national debt has risen by more than $2 trillion to a record $12.9 trillion. In just two more years, according to the President’s own estimates, our national debt will surpass the size of our entire economy. And unless we change course, our debt will reach levels now being experienced by Greece, whose debt is projected to reach 125 percent of its economy this year. Greece is already in the process of receiving an international bailout.

“We are seeing in Europe today what happens when debt spirals out of control, how it shakes the confidence of consumers, manufacturers, and small businesses, and how it creates an insurmountable obstacle to economic recovery. We’re also seeing in Europe that government is not immune to the same fate that befalls any business or family that recklessly spends more than it earns: you run out of money and you go bankrupt.

“So our choice is this: make the tough decisions required to put our fiscal house in order or continue to duck them. That’s why Republicans have proposed several initiatives to cut spending now and make Washington do more with less, just as families and small businesses are. We have asked President Obama to use his authority under the law to force Congress to consider spending cuts. We have also imposed an immediate, unilateral earmark ban and called for the savings to be used to reduce the deficit. And we have proposed strict budget caps to limit federal spending on an annual basis. Less spending, more jobs: it’s that simple.

“President Obama and Democrats in Washington should listen to the American people, who want us to work together on common-sense solutions to stop the spending spree and focus on helping manufacturers and small businesses create jobs. A responsible budget would be a good place to start.

“Thank you for listening.”

Filed under: GOP • Popular Posts
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. j

    who are these republicans think they are. aren't they the ones who got us into the mess we are in now. where were they for the past eight years. Oh that's right, helping out the rich. shut up republicans

    May 15, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. ib

    Obama is to busy flying around in AF1; blaming Bush and telling us how much things have improved since he took office to do any listening.

    May 15, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    "OMG! Obama is spending money. How dare he! Only we, the GOP, can spend money we don't have, all while giving our rich supporters tax breaks galore so they can trickle on the little guy."

    Another day, another GOP scare tactic. I would suggest this guy read what real economists have to say, instead of just repeating what he's been programmed to repeat.

    And finally, I hope to God he's not expecting this administration to listen to what his side has to say. Wasn't it their policies that got us here in the first place? Does he think we're stupid?

    May 15, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. independent

    So many words saying nothing. The Party of No wants to keep the status quo. The American people want change. They may not be comfortable with the changes that are taking place, but they do not want the status quo. The latter is what got us into this mess. Putting any Republican back in power will only make things worse.

    May 15, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. GI Joe

    GOP seems to be so paranoid, and they spend all their time worrying about hypothetical boogie-men – where are the postive suggestions? What - no suggestions? Only fear and paranoia?

    Good Grief !!!

    May 15, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  6. GI Joe

    GOP = Hate – lies – fear – lies – paranoia – lies –

    What a group of christian family values hypocrits. Keep yelling NO. that's all you all have the brains to do. No help, no suggestions, nothing.

    May 15, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. pc

    stop your whining! and this is compared to what??? mccain would have gone to war with iran, wallstreet would still be in charge,the unemplyment would probably be at 20% because without the stimulas NO jobs would have been created, mccain would have a heart attack by now watching the nation go further down in flames, ignorant palin would be the acting president and the world would have gone to hell by now,soooooo i say thank you president obama for pulling us out of the ditch!!!

    May 15, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. Moderate

    And the Republican economic policies are what?

    Republicans put us here in this bad economy. They drove a surplus into a massive deficit and ruined us. They have nothing to say about anyone's policies.

    Maybe they should get to work in Washington rather than worry about how to keep getting elected!

    May 15, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. Dean

    A question for Obama, why are we sendning money that we have to borrow from China to Europe to shore up their economy?

    I can't even get a loan from the SBA to keep my business going yet we give money to keep Greece going.

    May 15, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. Ron L- Mich

    This is just political nonsense. The republicans always seem to have ALL the answers when they are the minority. These are the FACTS:
    1) During the Bush years, the economy for the most part was stagnant and everyone was ignoring it. I say this because most of the job growth was in lower paying jobs and most Americans saw very little growth in their wages.
    2)Additionally most of this growth was"fake" and fueled by credit purchases people could not afford and all of the wheeling and dealing done with second mortgages and other financial deals that were unsound to say the least.
    3)President Bush and the REPUBLICANS started a war in IRAQ and CUT taxes at the same time. This was a first in American history. You would have to be either ignorant or only thinking of political gain to add the cost of going to war and decide to cut your source of revenue. This was the FIRST step to the tough times we are experiencing today.
    4) And last but not least, there is only so much you can cut out of Social Security and other large social programs without seriously causing economic hardship on those that truly need it. The ONLY way the nation is going to get out of this economic hole is a 3 to 5 year period were taxes will be increased on all Americans above the proverty line. And we would need to see over 50% of the 8 million jobs lost in the last 2 years, return in the next 3 years. (This will not be easy no matter who is in charge of the Congress). The tax increase won't be politically popular but it is an ECONOMIC reality that if you want to reduce the deficit quickly and reduce the amount of interest we pay on the debt ALL Americans need to give up an additional 2 to 3% of their earnings for a limited period of time.

    May 15, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. T

    I'm so sick of these hypocrites. Where was the concern from 2000 to 2008 when the debt was going up? These clowns do not want government unless it is there way or the highway. I consider most of these knuckle dragging parrot repeating talking point morons traitors.

    May 15, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. ronalde

    lee should sit down and shut up,the republicans can't even talk a good game anymorethe president is listening to the people and trying to create jobsnot just lee's people but to all the people and what is lee's position fear tactics the republicans answer to everything.our country is not even like greece's problem but i guess lee don't know that he is told what to say.the president has tryed ti reach across the isle and what does he get the republicans answer for the last 30 years cut taxes and the economy will grow they sound like a broken record.

    May 15, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. independent

    The Holier than Thou GOP is at it again. The intern-loving, wide-standing, minor-molesting, homophobic Republicans are presenting another 'playa' for office. See below:

    Republican congressional candidate Jeffrey D. Perry was involved, as a Wareham police sergeant in the early-1990s, in two instances in which an officer under his command conducted illegal strip searches of teenage girls, cases that are under new scrutiny as Perry’s political career advances.

    In one case, Perry was the supervisor at the scene when the officer stuck his hand in a 14-year-old girl’s underwear, ostensibly searching for drugs. In the other, Perry accompanied the same officer to the house of a 16-year-old girl to tell her parents that she had voluntarily pulled down her pants to show she did not have any drugs.

    Boston Globe.

    May 15, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Dave

    It never ceases to amaze me how idiots like Lee and the rest of the GOP can sit back and constantly hit Obama about the economy. It was Republican ideals and leadership that made the mess our country is facing and Obama is just trying to clean it up. Guys like Lee and rest of the GOP took years to wreck the economy and Obama won't fix it in just one year.

    May 15, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. phoenix86

    Obama's economic policy rests on three democratic pillars: Spend, Borrow and Tax.

    He has implemented the first two, the third will come after the November elections.

    May 15, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. Bill from GA

    When Repugs have power, they do what they want, which includes gross spending, giveaways to wealthy supporters, and reduced government oversight of business.

    When Repugs don't have power, they whine and cry and ridicule the Dems efforts to straighten out the mess left by the Repugs.

    Rep.Lee chooses one problem with the government, spending. If he had an IQ above room temperature he would know that is the only tool left to repair the economy. Interest rates are at rock-bottom, tax rates are at an all-time low. Ignoring the problem, as W did his last years in office (until he started the massive spending bill,TARP), will not fix anything.

    Give President Obama time. We are seeing great improvements over the economy he inherited.

    May 15, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. chris

    The economic policies of the GOP led to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and they have the unmitigated gall to lecture others on the economy!

    And I'm sick to the death of the Republicans presuming to speak for the entire American people. You don't speak for me and you don't speak for alot of other Americans either. During the Bush years, the Republicans didn't even feign listening to any other viewpoint but their own. Any one who so much as questioned them were immediately shouted down as aiding the terrorists. Now, anyone who doesn't share their far Right extremists views are denounced as Socialists. The GOP only listen to the people who already agreed with them, and attack and ignore everyone else.

    They keep acting like the economy and the deficit were all perfectly fine until Obama took office. And they do nothing to to try better this country. Alll Republcians do is give complaints and criticism while offering no real solutions. They don't care at all about all the harm they are doing to this country. All that matters to them is returning to power once again.

    May 15, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. Dale

    The arsonist criticizes the firefighters methods...

    May 15, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Glenn Koons

    Good theme. In my 71 years, I have never seen a more radical socialist pacifist ACORNist as this naif in the WH. 43 Presidents have not done as much harm to our nation as this ILL. Man-Child. When one taxes and spends like Chavez and is pointing the nation toward the end times of Greece, it is time to vote out all his minions in Congress. And more than that. Dems in state legislatures in all 50 states are just clones of Obama and his tax and spend plans. See all Blue States and how they now are bankrupt. His DEMANDS are getting tiresome as if he is a Third World tyrant. He takes on Wall St. while begging them for campaign monies. The hypocritical dolt. Enough of this voters. His policies are killing the very minorities and poor people as well as the enterntainment and sports classes who adore him as well as we in the Middle Class and the entrepreneurs who create jobs. The Rep. is right and Nov. must show that Americans still care for liberty and free enterprise.

    May 15, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. jim atmadison

    So, is he in favor of letting the Bush millionaire tax cuts expire to help balance the budget? If not, he needs to shut up.

    May 15, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    What a tool rep. Lee is. He reminds me of our representative in South Florida who lives in California. Out of touch, out of his mind.

    Government is not the problem, republicans are the problem. There will be no credible plan until the republicans stop stonewalling every democratic attempt to help Americans.

    May 15, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. Djinn

    It is galling to me as a citizen and voter to hear these dorks whining about economic policy after they were in office for eight years and were the authors of all of our economic problems. Clearly to be in the GOP one has to have the facility of never remembering their own screw-ups.

    May 15, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Danny

    Obama is a disgrace to the presidency.


    May 15, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Independent One

    Sir you have selective hearing, the repubs don't listen.....The President already stated that they will begin to cut the deficit in 2011..

    May 15, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Odalice feliz

    Obama has to wipe bushes mess!!!!!

    May 15, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |