Senator Rand Paul Responds to the State of the Union



One thing is for certain: President Obama is in full campaign mode.

In last year’s State of the Union Address, President Obama came before Congress with lofty promises to the American people of job creation, a prosperous economy and American innovation.

He told Americans that we were going to ‘win the future.’ But now, a year later, his focus has clearly changed from winning the future, to winning re-election.

Instead of working with Congress – the President simply wants to shift the blame.

In the past year we have seen these promises fail miserably. And while the President would like to blame the Republicans in Congress for inaction, the responsibility clearly lies on his shoulders.

I, as well as other Republicans, have offered to help the President fix our country’s debt problem; to fix our entitlement debacle. But the President seems more intent on riding his Canadian bus and bashing rich people than working with Congress to fix the nation’s problems.

While the President continues to blame Congress for America’s current turmoil, the American people aren’t blind to his runaway Administration. They are starting to question the unnecessary spending and constricting regulations implemented by this administration. Government is not the answer to ALL our economic and social ills, and the American people see that.

The government’s current spending is out-of-control. The debt is not just a bunch of numbers; it has a face and a name. Economists estimate that our debt is currently restraining the growth of our economy by about one percent and costing over 1 million jobs.

Through his stimulus spending plans, this President is on course to add more debt than all 43 previous Presidents combined, and yet unemployment still lingers near 10 percent. Since the President took office, over 2 million new workers are out of work.

Last week, President Obama was given the opportunity to turn America in the right direction. The Keystone pipeline would instantly create thousands of jobs without costing the taxpayers a dime.  It would also strengthen our alliance with neighboring Canada and wean our energy dependence from the Middle East.   The Keystone pipeline was in America’s best interest. Yet the President rejected this pipeline and the American people, by siding with the liberal environmentalists instead.--just as he did with Solyndra.

As we heard tonight, this President still believes big government is the answer.

But the American people want the government to get out of their way. They want to be left alone. They want to run their businesses as they please without job-killing regulations and taxes suffocating their prosperity.

The President spoke tonight on shared sacrifice and tax reform. Except, his idea of reform isn’t lowering rates for everyone or simplifying a tax code that is far too complicated. It isn’t a reform based on fairness or common sense economics. Instead, President Obama’s idea of tax reform is one built on the foundation of class envy.

Our system of free enterprise rewards hard work, prosperity, and success and that is what we should embrace. We should be proud of that system that has made our country the wealthiest and most humanitarian nation in the history of the world. The way forward is to embrace what we know works: decreased government spending, lower taxes, and a lessened regulatory burden.

The EPA regulations alone, that have been implemented by the Obama Administration have cost over five percent of our annual GDP— the equivalent of the costs of our national security and homeland security combined—and since EPA regulations have expanded, unemployment in America has increased by 33 percent.

The President’s vision for America differs from ours. We believe, as President Reagan said in his inaugural address, that “government is the problem not the solution.”

Only by unleashing the greatness of American individualism can we grow our way out of this recession.

I hope the President will come to understand this and that he will work with Republicans to get an overzealous federal government out of the way. When he gives up on bipartisanship, he gives up on our nation.

Ultimately, we want representatives in Washington who respect and admire business, the free market, and the individual. That day cannot come soon enough. I continue to invite the President to work with us, as I have asked him several times before. It is time for him to set aside his political agenda, and work together to get our country to get back on our feet again.

Unless the President starts working with Congress on behalf of the prosperity of the American people, we can only assume his words tonight were no more than empty promises.

Thank you, and God bless America.

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