Following his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama drew little praise from U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who described the speech as an attempt to defy reality.
U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TMP File Photo)
“Once again Obama’s rhetoric simply does not match his actions,” said DesJarlais, a Republican who represents the 4th Congressional District, which includes Rutherford County, in the House of Representatives.
“While the president talks about building a stronger middle class,” he said, “his policies are placing heavier burdens on all hardworking Americans.”
During his speech, Obama called on Congress to follow through on passing legislation to ramp up economic recovery efforts, combat global warming, and find agreement on comprehensive immigration reform, as well as other policies.
“It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country,” Obama said to a joint chamber of Congress, “the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like or who you love.”
He continued by saying the American people do not “expect government to solve every problem,” but they do insist on members from both the Republican and Democratic parties in Congress to work together.
Despite his remarks on taking a bipartisan approach, Obama spent much of the time laying out what conservatives are describing as a liberal agenda that is unlikely to gain traction in the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican Party.
Aside from the need for immigration reform, DesJarlais said he does not support much of what Obama is proposing.
“His remarks indicate that he has decided that he would rather double down on his failed political agenda than work to ensure a brighter future for tomorrow and stop this generational theft,” he said, adding the Obama administration has fueled an incredible amount of deficit spending that has helped lead the country to being $16 trillion in debt.
As such, DesJarlais contended that until the national debt is addressed, the economy will continue to churn at a mediocre pace.
“Employers know that today’s deficit spending will have to be paid with tomorrow’s tax increases,” he said. “This causes businesses to hold back capital, thereby further hampering job growth. Obama has offered no credible plan to control government spending. He talks about a balanced approach, but all he has proposed are more tax hikes on small businesses.”
In addition, Obama received criticism for saying that he would use executive orders to “speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy” if Congress does not pass a bipartisan approach to address global warming -- a move that Republicans argue could cause energy prices to rise even more.
“Soaring energy costs are not only hurting Tennesseans at the pump, they are increasing the cost of both the products we buy and the way we do business,” DesJarlais said, noting approval of the Keystone Pipeline System would help address the matter.
“Rather than support measures that would have an immediate impact on reducing energy prices, he chooses to appease his far-left liberal base by blocking common sense domestic energy production,” DesJarlais said.
Coupled with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed “Obamacare,” the president is advocating for policies that will not help the economy, he continued.
“I agree with the president that a thriving middle class is essential to America’s economic growth,” he said, “but instead of empowering the middle class, Obama is more focused on expanding government.”