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Obama To Argue For More Gov’t Spending In SOTU? GOP: Now Is Not The Time For Unaffordable New Spending

January 24th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

The Washington Post reports today, “The debate that will define this year and is likely to set the terms for the 2012 elections began in earnest over the weekend, with President Obama and Republican leaders presenting competing visions for reducing the deficit and expanding the economy. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Sunday that Republicans will do everything in their power to stop the new spending increases that Obama says are necessary in a video preview of his State of the Union address sent to supporters late Saturday.”

According to The New York Times, “Mr. Obama will use the State of the Union address to argue that government should be a tool for creating jobs and strengthening a fragile recovery through spending in areas like high-speed rail, scientific research, clean energy programs and college grants — a message that appeals to Democratic voters. In effect, Mr. Obama is trying to wall off those areas from spending cuts and is daring Republicans to defy him.”

In response, The Times notes, “In a series of carefully choreographed appearances on Sunday morning talk shows here, Republicans sought to draw the battle lines for the Tuesday night speech over government spending. With Mr. Obama planning to call for ‘investments’ of tax dollars in specific areas like education, infrastructure and technology, Republicans insisted that ‘investment’ was just another name for spending that the nation can ill afford.”

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told Chris Wallace, “With all due respect to our Democratic friends, any time they want to spend, they call it investment, so I think you will hear the president talk about investing a lot Tuesday night. We’ve got a huge spending problem here. We’ve had over $1 trillion annual deficit each of the last two years… the American people think that we need to do something about this and start doing it now.”

The president’s call for investment sounds a lot like the failed $814 billion stimulus bill from two years ago. As Leader McConnell said, “If government spending would have solved the problem, we’d have a rip-roaring economy right now… And that’s what we’ve been doing the last two years: the stimulus bill, massive borrowing and spending in order to try to advance the economy. I think there is scant to no evidence that the stimulus bill had any impact on the private sector. And look, everybody knows the only way we’re going to get out of this economic trough is to get the private sector growing again.”

Floating new spending as the way forward misses entirely the message Americans sent Washington just two months ago. As The Washington Post notes, “McConnell said on ‘Fox News Sunday’ that new spending defies the message sent by voters in November, when Republicans took control of the House and gained six seats in the Senate. ‘We’ll take a look at his recommendations,’ McConnell said. ‘But this is not a time to be looking at pumping up government spending in very many areas.’”

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