Obama's State of the Union address: A jab at Bush's policies
President Obama also took a jab at the policies of the Bush administration, even as he called for the two political parties to work together.
“From some on the right, I expect we’ll hear a different argument -- that if we just make fewer investments in our people, extend tax cuts for wealthier Americans, eliminate more regulations, and maintain the status quo on healthcare, our deficits will go away. The problem is, that’s what we did for eight years. That’s what helped lead us into this crisis. It’s what helped lead to these deficits. And we cannot do it again.”
He went on to say that it was time to stop fighting “the same tired battles that have dominated Washington for decades.”
“It’s time to try something new,” Obama said. “Let’s invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let’s meet our responsibility to the citizens who sent us here. Let’s try common sense.”
Earlier, he also blamed some current problems on those who came before him.
“At the beginning of the last decade, America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion. By the time I took office, we had a one-year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade.
“Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3-trillion hole in our budget. That was before I walked in the door.”
Reaction in the chamber was mixed.
-- Steve Padilla
Photo: US President Barack Obama (R) listens as former US President George W. Bush speaks about relief efforts following the earthquake in Haiti, during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2010. Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images