The Corner

John Boehner’s Closing Argument: This Election Is a Referendum on Barack Obama

From a speech he is delivering in Cincinnati now: 

this speech is about jobs.  And this speech is about jobs, because this coming election is about jobs.

It’s about the jobs that were promised to the American people by the current administration, and never delivered.

It’s about the jobs our economy should be creating right now, but isn’t creating, because of the policies coming out of our Congress.

It’s about the jobs our children deserve in the future, but may never have because Washington is burying them in a legacy of debt.

This morning we got the latest national jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

It looks a lot like the reports we’ve seen every month since President Obama signed his “stimulus” spending bill into law.  Unemployment is high.  Millions are out of work.  Private-sector job creation is flat.

That’s what you got for your 787 billion dollars.  Record high unemployment.  A bigger government.  And an economy struggling to create jobs.

This upcoming election is a referendum.  As Americans, we have to decide: do we want another two years of job-killing policies out of Washington?  Or have we had enough?

I’m a small businessman at heart.  Always will be.

Running a small business here in Butler County was one of the proudest times of my life.  And it gave me a perspective on our country that I’ve carried with me throughout my time in public service.

Family-owned operations like my dad’s tavern, and small businesses like mine and United Group Services, are what power the American economy.

They employ a quarter of the workers in our country and created the majority of new jobs over the last decade.

Small businesses like these are essential to the American Dream.  And right now that Dream is under siege.

I ran for Congress back in 1990 because of what I saw happening to small businesses in America.

I got tired of watching Washington strangle the goose that laid the golden egg.

The federal government was getting too big, too intrusive, and too expensive.

Politicians who had no understanding of the private sector talked about the importance of creating jobs, and then forced policies on American small businesses that made job creation harder.

Elected officials with no understanding of how our economy works spent money with reckless abandon, running up the deficit and telling us we could pay for it all by raising taxes.

It was clear they believed the engine of prosperity in America is government itself. 

The thinking went like this: if you want more jobs, then spend more money.  Collect more taxes, and redistribute them from the federal level.  Make government bigger.

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the Obama Administration, this thinking may sound familiar.  It’s not “new.”  In fact there’s nothing “new” about it.  And anyone who’s ever created a private sector job in America can tell you it is dead wrong.

The truth of the matter is, our economy is built on freedom. 

You don’t get to prosperity by taking freedom away from the people who create jobs.  You achieve prosperity by getting government out of their way.

The greatest threat to job creation in our country is the flawed idea that we can tax, spend and borrow our way to prosperity.

The halls of power in our government right now are filled with people stubbornly devoted to the tired old idea that government can create prosperity by spending and borrowing.

For the past four years they’ve been running Congress.  For the past 20 months, they’ve controlled our entire government, from the White House to Capitol Hill.  And for the past 20 months, they’ve done everything BUT focus on jobs.

Five hundred miles away from here in Washington, a spending binge is going on that threatens our prosperity.

And small businesses, the engine of job creation in America, are gripped by uncertainty. Under President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Washington has been throwing everything at them but the kitchen sink.

First it was the threat of a new national energy tax called “cap and trade.”

Then came Obamacare, with its unconstitutional mandates and job-killing tax hikes and paperwork requirements.

And now President Obama and his team are supporting a tax hike that the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation says will raise taxes on 50 percent of the small business income in America.

That means hundreds of thousands of private-sector companies face the prospect of a job-killing tax hike on January 1st.  This company could be one of them.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not what America asked for when it entrusted Sen. Barack Obama with the Oval Office.

The pink slips shouldn’t be going to workers here in Ohio.  They should be going to the members of Barack Obama’s economic team.

At the health care summit last February, President Obama told us it’s OK to have deep philosophical differences and different visions for where we’d lead our country.  “That’s what elections are for,” he said.

Over the past two years the governing party in Washington has been deeply committed to the tired old notion that our nation can spend and borrow its way back to prosperity.

Twenty months ago, Americans were told that if we’d just have the courage to let the government borrow about a trillion more dollars from our children and grandchildren and then let Members of Congress and bureaucrats sprinkle that money around the country, magical things would happen.

Unemployment would go no higher than 8 percent, they told us, and millions of new jobs would be created immediately, most of them jobs in the private sector.

It didn’t happen.

The president and his allies went behind closed doors and wrote the biggest pork-barrel spending bill in American history.

They rushed it through Congress without giving legislators the chance to read it, much less the American people.

They mocked us for asking for more time to let Americans see what was actually in the bill, and told us we were committing political suicide by opposing it.  My colleagues and I stood united, together, and voted no.

They promised all the spending would “stimulate” the economy and create jobs right away.

It didn’t happen.

Asked to change his economic team and stop the spending spree in Washington, the president refused, promoted one of the architects of his failed “stimulus” policies, and requested more “stimulus” spending for next year.

Americans said “stop.”  But no one stopped.  The president and his party just kept on spending.

The same thing happened on health care.

The president and his allies promised Americans a health care bill that would lower health care costs.  They also promised nobody would be forced out of their current health care plan.  The president said “if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it.”

It didn’t happen.  The Obama administration’s own chief actuary for Medicare and Medicaid says the president’s health care law doesn’t lower costs; it raises them.  And millions of Americans are about to be forced out of their health care plans.

The American people asked President Obama and Nancy Pelosi to scrap the health care bill and start over on a smaller, common-sense plan our nation could afford.

It didn’t happen.  They ignored the people, and rammed it through.

The people running Washington haven’t been listening.  The people say one thing, and their government does another.

People keep asking me – John, what can we do about it?

Well, my friends, as the president said: that’s what elections are for.


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