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Weekly remarks: Obama on the tough economy; Geoff Davis: 3,833 pages of new healthcare regs already

September 4, 2010 |  3:00 am

Democrat president Barack Obama chats on his Oval Office phone

President Obama's weekly remarks, as provided by the White House 

On Monday, we celebrate Labor Day. It’s a chance to get together with family and friends, to throw some food on the grill, and have a good time.  But it’s also a day to honor the American worker -- to reaffirm our commitment to the great American middle class that has, for generations, made our economy the envy of the world.

That is especially important now. I don’t have to tell you that this is a very tough time for our country. Millions of our neighbors have been swept up in the worst recession in our lifetimes. And long before this recession hit, the middle class had been taking some hard shots. Long before this recession, the values of hard work and responsibility that built this country had been given short shrift.

For a decade, middle class families felt the sting of stagnant incomes and declining economic security. Companies were rewarded with tax breaks for creating jobs overseas. Wall Street....

...firms turned huge profits by taking, in some cases, reckless risks and cutting corners.  All of this came at the expense of working Americans, who were fighting harder and harder just to stay afloat –- often borrowing against inflated home values to pay their bills. Ultimately, the house of cards collapsed.

So this Labor Day, we should recommit ourselves to our time-honored values and to this fundamental truth: To heal our economy, we need more than a healthy stock market; we need bustling main streets and a growing, thriving middle class. That’s why I will keep working day-by-day to restore opportunity, economic security and that basic American Dream for our families and future generations. 

First, that means doing everything we can to accelerate job creation. The steps we have taken to date have stopped the bleeding: investments in roads and bridges and high-speed railroads that will lead to hundreds of thousands of jobs in the private sector; emergency steps to prevent the layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers; and tax cuts and loans for small-business owners who create most of the jobs in America. We also ended a tax loophole that encouraged companies to create jobs overseas. Instead, I’m fighting to pass a law to provide tax breaks to the folks who create jobs right here in America.

But strengthening our economy means more than that. We’re fighting to build an economy in which middle class families can afford to send their kids to college, buy a home, save for retirement, and achieve some measure of economic security when their working days are done. And over the last two years, that has meant taking on some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for far too long.

That’s why we’ve put an end to the wasteful subsidies to big banks that provide student loans. We’re going to use that money to make college more affordable for students instead. 

That’s why we’re making it easier for workers to save for retirement, with new ways of saving their tax refunds and a simpler system for enrolling in retirement plans like 401(k)s.  And we’re going to keep up the fight to protect Social Security for generations to come.

That’s why we stopped insurance companies from refusing to cover people with preexisting conditions and dropping folks who become seriously ill. 

And that’s why we cut taxes for 95 percent of working families, and passed a law to help make sure women earn equal pay for equal work in the United States of America. 

This Labor Day, we are reminded that we didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness. We did it by rewarding hard work and responsibility. We did it by recognizing that we rise or we fall together as one nation –- one people –- all of us vested in one another. That is how we have succeeded in the past. And that is how we will not only rebuild this economy, but rebuild it stronger than ever before. Thank you. And I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend.    ####

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Capitol Hill at Night

Remarks by Rep. Geoff Davis, as provided by Republican congressional leadership 

Hi, I’m Geoff Davis, and I work for the people of Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District.

Yesterday, Americans from coast to coast began their day with the news that our economy has lost jobs for three months in a row. The nation’s unemployment rate has now been above 9 percent for 16 consecutive months. This is despite the fact that the Obama Administration promised that the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ would keep unemployment below 8 percent. So the question remains: Where are the jobs?

The Obama administration told the American people this would be a ‘Recovery Summer.’ But, our economy continues to lose jobs. Growth has slowed to anemic levels. Our national debt is growing by more than $4 billion per day. So as it turns out, ‘Recovery Summer’ was nothing more than a meaningless slogan.

Americans don’t want slogans, they want solutions, which is exactly what Republicans are offering.

‘Stimulus’ spending, permanent bailouts, government takeovers and federal mandates have all failed our nation.  America’s employers are afraid to invest in an economy racked with uncertainty over what Washington’s next set of rules, regulations, mandates, and tax hikes will look like. This uncertainty is one of the main reasons our economy is not creating enough jobs.

Republicans believe we need to get away from these policies and instead take action on common-sense steps to help small businesses get back to creating jobs. We’ve called on President Obama to abandon his plan to impose job-killing tax hikes on families and small businesses. We’ve urged Democratic leaders in Congress to allow a vote on $1.3 trillion in immediate spending cuts. And we’re listening to the people, getting their input on ways to help our economy start creating jobs again. Today, I’d like to talk with you about one of those ideas.
Republican Representative Geoff Davis of Kentucky
As we speak, the Obama Administration has lined up 191 rules and regulations that could each have an estimated annual cost to our economy of $100 million or more. That’s 191 layers of red tape waiting in the wings. Last year, the federal government issued 3,316 new rules and regulations; that amounts to more than a dozen per day. All of these rules go on the books without being approved by Congress. 

Many of these mandates affect small-business owners who don’t have the resources to hire an army of lawyers and accountants to comply with all these burdensome regulations. The more time small-business owners spend pushing paper, the less time they have to focus on creating jobs.

The new healthcare bill is a perfect example of how unelected bureaucrats can wreak all kinds of havoc. This is a law that, upon its enactment, triggered the creation of roughly 160 boards, bureaus, bureaucracies and commissions. It took less than four months for the feds to rack up 3,833 pages of regulations pertaining to ObamaCare.

When Congress forces through controversial legislation by purposefully leaving blanks for executive agencies to fill in, unelected bureaucrats end up writing laws with no accountability whatsoever. This has to stop. 

Last year, a local resident came to me about a significant increase in sewer rates to help pay for storm water upgrades mandated by the federal government. Of course, Washington wasn’t offering to help pay for the upgrades –- only issuing the orders to get them done. My constituent wanted to know whether Congress had any say in these new federal mandates before they were handed down. The answer was ‘no.’

So with my constituent’s help, I introduced the REINS Act, a common-sense initiative that would require Congress to take an up-or-down vote on every new major rule before it can be imposed on the American people. This legislation would serve as a much-needed restraining order against unelected busybodies and bureaucrats whose actions could make it harder to create jobs.
 
The sooner we rein in the red tape factory in Washington, D.C., the sooner small businesses can get back to creating jobs and helping more Americans find an honest day’s work.

I’ve also posted the REINS Act as an idea on America Speaking Out, a national initiative Republicans launched this spring to engage the American people in the creation of a clear and positive governing agenda.  At americaspeakingout.com, Americans can share their own solutions or comment and vote on someone else’s.

So what began as a conversation between a constituent and his congressional representative is now part of a national dialogue about a new governing agenda –- an agenda Republicans will unveil later this month. These are just the first steps towards putting power back where it belongs: in the hands of the people.

Visit americaspeakingout.com now to have your say and to share your ideas. Thank you for listening.    ####

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Photos: Pete Souza / White House; Associated Press; Davis' office.

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