Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) tonight responded to President Obama's second State of the Union address with the following statement:
"Tonight, we heard similar language regarding the deficit as his speech last year. The President's proposal is to freeze non-security discretionary spending at current levels for the next five years. As I said last year, it is not fiscally responsible to increase spending as the President has done over the past two years and then freeze it. Instead, we should pull spending levels back to where they were before the massive increases and then freeze it. Earlier today, the House acted by passing a resolution that would reduce discretionary non-security spending back to 2008 levels. Last March, I lead the way by introducing similar legislation in the Senate, called the HELP Act, which had 19 co-sponsors. Reducing government spending is so important that, again this year, one of my first actions will be to re-introduce my HELP Act again this year.
"Though he paid lip service to the deficit and reducing government spending tonight, if you listened carefully, you heard the President's true agenda when he spoke of making investments'. That word investments' sure does sound good, but it's really just a fancy way of saying increase government spending', because it isn't HIS money he's talking about, it's YOUR'S - the American taxpayer. We've seen this type of investment' before from President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. It was called their Stimulus plan - which by the way - only strapped us with even more deficit spending.
"His initiatives for high speed rail, improved internet access, more teachers, additional research, and the president's education priorities will just mean increased spending.
"In the global market place, the American worker and the American economy must be free to compete. The best way to do that is to get government out of the way and let the private sector, the true engine behind our economy, do what it does best - grow and create jobs.
"That means reforming government and ending government over-regulation. Over the past two years, nearly every institution that has made America great has come under attack by President Obama and his democrat majority. The health care sector, the energy sector, the banking sector, the insurance sector, the automotive industry and others have all had to endure the radical leftist agenda of the Obama administration. Reforming government must include ending the job killing efforts of the Obama EPA to impose cap-and-trade taxes on consumers and employers through regulation. It must also include repealing the overly-burdensome regulations included in Obamacare, like those requiring businesses to report all goods and services transactions valued over $600 to the IRS. The new taxes and penalties imposed on employers for those who cannot afford to provide health insurance only hurts job creation and economic growth. The House was right to vote to repeal the very unpopular measure, and I hope that the Democrat leaders in the Senate will allow a similar vote.
"It also means reducing corporate taxes, which President Obama mentioned tonight. I hope he is sincere and will take action to address America's corporate tax rate, one of the highest in the world. In the past, we've heard him talk about things like nuclear power, jobs, and free trade, but there has been little to no action.
"Tonight President Obama rightly praised the members of our military. Indeed, we are ever grateful for their service and sacrifice for this nation. While President Obama has been quick to praise the success of our military in Iraq, it is important to remember that he was one of the most outspoken critics of the troop surge there that lead to those successes.
"Having just returned from my 8th trip to Afghanistan, I witnessed first-hand the advances our troops have made as well as the challenges still ahead. Unfortunately, President Obama continues to send mixed signals to our NATO allies, the Afghan people, Pakistan and the Taliban in regard to our commitment there. After numerous discussions with Afghan and coalition personnel during my visit, it was unanimous that setting an arbitrary timeline to begin withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan had a devastating effect on operations. It must be conditions on the ground, not politically driven dates that dictate any withdrawal or transition if we are to succeed in Afghanistan. Failure in Afghanistan would directly impact our national security in the long term.
"The President's speech tonight was touted as an agenda for winning the future'. Winning the future for the American economy, for American jobs, and for American ideals won't be achieved by simply giving speeches. It takes action that ultimately gets government out of the way. As NFL coaching great Vince Lombardi once said, "You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit." And we need to start winning through action not talk. Eloquence is a wonderful thing action is greater."