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Weekly remarks: GOP's Thune says Obama's experiment has failed; Obama decries GOP threat to repeal Wall Street reform

Capitol Dome

Weekly remarks by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), as provided by Republican Party leadership 

Hello, I’m Senator John Thune of South Dakota.  As you’ve probably noticed, we have an election coming up in a little over a week.

President Obama has been running around the country trying to reelect Democrat members of Congress.

But if the conversations I’ve had with voters are any indication, the president should spend less time campaigning to save the jobs of Democrats in Congress, and more time trying to create jobs for the American people. 

All across South Dakota and the country, I've heard from people who aren’t fooled by President Obama's well-written speeches.  They have serious concerns about our economy, and they are all too familiar with the Administration’s failed policies.

One of the Democrats' main responsibilities over the past two years was to improve the economy.  Instead, they decided to try an experiment to grow government, raise taxes, and take over health care.  After two years, the American people are left asking, ‘Why have the Democrats’ priorities been so different from ours?’

The Obama Experiment has failed.

When the president and his Democrat allies in Congress pushed through their $814 billion stimulus bill, they promised.... would create millions of jobs, and keep unemployment under eight percent.  But their approach didn’t work, and they failed to deliver on their promises.

Unemployment has climbed to nearly 10 percent.  Rather than create jobs, the Democrats expanded government, and now the American people are stuck with another bill for nearly a trillion dollars. 

When the president was introducing his big government health care plan, he promised to reduce every family’s health insurance premiums by as much as $2,500.  But premiums keep going up.  Families in some states are seeing increases in the double digits.  Here again, Democrats promised but didn’t deliver, and the American people are stuck with rising health care costs and another tab; this one for two-and-a-half trillion dollars.

The Democrats have controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress for nearly two years, and have proven that more government is not the answer.  This year they were not even capable of passing a budget.  Instead, they spent their time passing more and more burdensome regulations, like their so-called Financial Reform bill that failed to address the main cause of our economic mess.

Despite a dangerously high national debt that is closing in on $14 trillion, the president wants to spend even more money on these kinds of failed policies.  And he appears intent on raising taxes to do it.  

Giving Democrats more opportunities to manage the economy and spend taxpayer dollars will not give us the economic growth that we need.  It will only lead to more growth of government bureaucracy, and to national bankruptcy.
South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune
There is a reason unemployment is stuck near ten percent.

There is a reason jobs are not being created.

There is a reason too many Americans who want a job can’t find one.

There is a reason the dollar is weak and our economy is not growing as it should.

The reason is that President Obama and Congressional Democrats have led this country in the wrong direction.

Government cannot be openly hostile to American businesses, and expect them to grow and create jobs.

Government cannot raise taxes during tough economic times, and expect small businesses to grow and create jobs.

A new direction is needed.

The president likes to say that when you want to drive forward you put your car in D, and when you want to go in reverse you put it in R.  It’s a clever line, but when you’re speeding toward a cliff, you don’t want to keep the car in drive.  

Republicans want to reverse the dangerous course the Democrats have us on.

Republicans want to reverse Democrats’ plan to raise taxes on the 750,000 small businesses in this country that employ 25 percent of all workers.  So employers have more money to create new jobs.

Republicans support policies that will grow the economy, not the government.

Republicans want to repeal the flawed health care law that has been rejected by the American public, and replace it with a new plan that actually reduces costs.  We want to reverse the uncertainty in the marketplace so that small businesses have the confidence to grow and invest and create jobs.

And Republicans want to reverse this nonsense of government bailouts and takeovers of private businesses. 

Republicans have proposed real, concrete solutions to the challenges we face as a country. 

We have learned the lessons not only of what hasn’t worked over the past two years, but what didn’t work the last time Republicans controlled Congress.  Republicans are listening to the frustration being expressed by Americans all across this country, and we are determined to take this country in the right direction.

The choice could not be more clear. Democrats are driving more of the same failed policies they have pushed for the past two years.  Republicans are proposing to take this country in a different direction.

So I would like to suggest a simple question people should ask themselves to help cut through all the talk: Are you better off today than you were two years ago? I’m Senator John Thune. Thank you for listening.    ####

Happy Democrat president Barack Obama relaxes in the Oval Office

Weekly remarks by President Obama, as provided by the White House  

Over the past two years, we’ve won a number of battles to defend the interests of the middle class. One of the most important victories we achieved was the passage of Wall Street Reform.

This was a bill designed to rein in the secret deals and reckless gambling that nearly brought down the financial system. It set new rules so that taxpayers would never again be on the hook for a bailout if a big financial company went under.  And reform included the strongest consumer protections in history -– to put an end to a lot of the hidden fees, deceptive mortgages, and other abusive practices used to tilt the tables against ordinary people in their financial dealings.

It was a tough fight. The special interests poured millions into a lobbying campaign to prevent us from reforming the system –- a system that worked a lot better for them than for middle class families. Some in the financial industry were eager to protect a status quo that basically allowed them to play by their own rules. And these interests held common cause with Republican leaders in Washington who were looking to score a political victory in an election year.

But their efforts failed.  And we succeeded in passing reform in the hopes of ensuring that we never again face a crisis like the one we’ve been through – a crisis that unleashed an economic downturn as deep as any since the Great Depression.  Even today, we are still digging out of the damage it unleashed on the economy.  Millions of people are still out of work.  Millions of families are still hurting.

We’re also seeing the reverberations of this crisis with the rise in foreclosures. And recently, we’ve seen problems in foreclosure proceedings -– mistakes that have led to disruptions in the housing markets. This is only one more piece of evidence as to why Wall Street Reform is so necessary.  In fact, as part of reform, a new consumer watchdog is now standing up. It will have just one job: looking out for ordinary consumers in the financial system. And this watchdog will have the authority to guard against unfair practices in mortgage transactions and foreclosures.

Yet despite the importance of this law –- and despite the terrible economic dislocation caused by the failures in our financial system under the old rules –- top Republicans in Congress are now beating the drum to repeal all of these reforms and consumer protections. Recently, one of the Republican leaders in the Senate said that if Republicans take charge of Congress, repeal would be one of the first orders of business. And he joins the top Republican in the House who actually called for the law to be repealed even before it passed.

I think that would be a terrible mistake. Our economy depends on a financial system in which everyone competes on a level playing field, and everyone is held to the same rules – whether you’re a big bank, a small business owner, or a family looking to buy a house or open a credit card. And as we saw, without sound oversight and common-sense protections for consumers, the whole economy is put in jeopardy. That doesn’t serve Main Street. That doesn’t serve Wall Street. That doesn’t serve anyone.  And that’s why I think it’s so important that we not take this country backward – that we don’t go back to the broken system we had before. We’ve got to keep moving forward. Thanks.    ####

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Photo credits: Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press (lone worker vents hot air from the Capitol); Thune's office; Pete Souza / White House.

Comments () | Archives (19)

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When asked how he would like his success or failure as president to be measured, Obama said to a reporter that he would like to be measured by the unemployment rate.


"A USA Today/Gallup Poll in early September found that 71 percent said Bush should get blame for the country's economic troubles. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll taken at the same time indicated that 53 percent blamed Bush and Republicans for causing the current economic conditions, while 33 percent blamed President Obama and Democrats." - Time

It's time to give President Obama a chance to correct the wrongs of the failed Bush years.

Thune- another brain dead moron representing the greedy ignorant criminal bigots who make up the republican party- IT IS TIME FOR ANOTHER CIVIL WAR TO REMOVE CONSERVATIVES AND REPUBLICANS FROM THIS WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!

It's not an "experiment." It's an economic approach that failed under FDR and is failing in Greece, France, Britain, etc. There's a reason why Norway's political conservatives top the polls: Socialism doesn't work, can't work.

But if you think Obama IS experimenting, he's doing it with your money. That's OK with you? OK for your dry cleaner to "experiment" with your clothes? Your mechanic to "experiment" with your car?

Respect yourself: Vote Libertarian/Conservative

Bipartisanship is the reason this country is in the mess that its in, if theres a democrat controlled congress the republicans will do whatever it can including lying cheating and stealing their way back into power and the same goes with democrats, the problem is politicians are loyal to their parties agendas whether right or wrong the actual people of the U.S are afterthoughts, articles like this are imflammatory and devisive lets stop acting like the republicans werent in control for 8 years and created this mess so now all of a sudden you have the remedy to fix it? LOL. Give me a break americans lets stop being so naive and stupid and realize these politicians could give a damn what happens to the people as long as their parties come out looking good. Obama, Palin, Mcain, It doesnt matter who you put in office, this country is divided red vs blue, sounds like the Crips and Bloods doesnt it?

Mr. Thune would like us to forget that it was Republican policies that got us into this mess in the first place. Returning Republicans to power would be a version of insanity that this country can not afford.

The absolute gall of these lying Republiwonts!!!How they conveniently forget that it was their administration that bankrupted our country, put millions of people out of work, gave multinational corporations a green light to outsource millions of jobs and receive billions in tax breaks, started 2 wars that continue to kill Americans and thousands of civilians and drain our borrowed money..Lord it makes me furious and sick to my stomach to see and hear these lying sacks od s..t scream bloody murder when they are holding the gun. Go to H...!

Thune thinks the Obama experiment has failed--turns out that even though the income gap is widest since the depression, Republicans like Thune feel like the rich haven't got enough yet. They want to gut the middle class even more.

i seem to recall that se. thune voted for every bill during the bush presidency including the unfunded wars, the medicare bill of which were NEVERicluded in those budgets,now the bill is coming due , what do you expect??

Mr. Thune's remarks are quite disgusting.

To do everything in your power to subvert and obstruct another and then pretend innocence as you declare that person to have failed is either insanity or treason.

In their obsession to hurt the president, republicans have hurt the country.

And they're just getting started.

Another reason why I will NEVER vote Republican. Talk about well-rehearsed scripts! Thune is repeating what all the Republicans are saying, and most of it is outright lying, or half-truths. Just watching C-SPAN in the House and Senate over the last year has amply demonstrated that the GOP would stop Democrats if they had a guaranteed way to save the entire world. Veto, filibuster, you name it. If it's by the Dems, it's wrong, right?
Yeah... riiiight....

I think it is an absolute disgrace the way this president has been treated, especially by the republican party. Every thing this president tried to do all he got from the republicans was NO NO NO. If he had gotten more cooperation from the republican party we might not be in the situation we are in right now. Let's face it you republicans wangted the president to fail and have done everything to make this happen. It is an absolute disgrace. No president has ever had to deal with the trouble that he has from the other party. Republicans are bigots and this tea party is a real joke. take the country back "from whom". More cooperation from the republicans would certainly mean a more smoother run government. I wouldn't give my vote to any republican. and the names I see that some of these people are calling the president of the united states. disgraceful

But ... contrary to your false assertion, the Obama administration did not raise taxes and does not plan to. In fact, the Stimulus Bill itself lowered the taxes of 95% of the American people. What brought on this mess was not 2 years of Obama, it was 8 years of deregulation and catering to the wealthy under Bush, and without Obama the same mistakes would be continued.

In response to Senator Thunes question . Yes, I am better off than I was 2 years ago. Some people may have a short memory about how we got in to the mess were in but I have not. 8 years of bad Republican policies put our country on the brink of depression. We have a long way to go still and Obama has been honest about that. Bush spoke to us like children denying a recession for years while it was obvious that we were well into it. The policies that were put in place by the Obama administration weren't out of ideal choice but by necessity. You pretend to care about the middle class but what you really do is pander to the middle class in hopes that they don't really follow up on what your policies really do. Lets see where we are in another 2 years .I want to go forward not backward.

Obama has done a great job and will continue to do an even better job in the future. You may not always agree with him but the republicans can smell success on the move.They want to take credit for it Democrats take pride in what you have done. WE the people are behind YOU!!!!!! Vote with PRIDE don't let the republicans mislead you THEY are BIG MONEY...

I've read comment after comment. I am astounded at the dumbing down of our country's citizens. People spouting "talking points" and propaganda as fact. Doesn't matter which "side" you are on...It is still YOUR CHOICE..."WE the PEOPLE". ..The choice is coming on the fast train....CHOOSE Socialism/Marxism with the government running every minute 'choice' you make in life, even when you live OR restore/return to the founding PRINCIPLES of personal responsibility and God endowed right to personal freedom. I choose America. Don't take either side's word for anything, get off your duff and do your own research. Research the founding principles of this country and research Socialism...see which this country's forward progress is embracing, then make your choice. Your children and grandchildren will live out the consequences. All career politians need to go!
Our elected officials need to serve then return to main street and live like the rest of us. It will keep the corruption in check and have representatives that truly represent the people, not their party or their special interests whether that be Unions or Wall Street.

Title : A businessman is angry at his lost cash bag.
A businessman is drowning in the ocean.
Stimulus : we should rescue him immediately.
Power first : Nope ! How do we pay for it. Just let him go under much like Lehman Brothers.
Stimulus : He is dying right now.
Power first : Nope ! You can't save his money bag.
Stimulus ( clock is ticking ) : : We can do everything.
Go under : We are serious about jobs. Where are jobs ?, echoed by the angry businessman.

Chanting deficit :
1. Amid chanting deficit, the same old failed policy.
2. Amid chanting deficit, hands-off approach over huge trade deficit from oil money spill & trade imbalance with China from remorseless health care premium.
3. Unfortunately, as a direct consequence of remorseless health care premium, numerous folks have no choice but to hang onto affordable offerings, since one in two households is said to face a hard decision between necessity & drug.
4. Inaction cost in relation to health care reform totals $9trillion over the next decade.

5. Over the next 10 years, total Bush tax cut costs will equal $3.9 trillion, .... the tax cuts would increase deficits by nearly $4 trillion between 2005 and 2014.
The most critical debt : Personal Bankruptcy
The current recession came from Personal Bankruptcy largely as a consequence of the relentless health care costs, pain at the pump, and the subsequent subprime mortgage crisis.
Facing huge trade deficit ( job creation money ) from oil money spill & trade imbalance with China, the primary economic policy of previous administration was " spending baby "to the great delight of republicans' sponsors.

Obama said
“Over the past two years, we’ve won a number of battles to defend the interests of the middle class...”
Bull – he cares as much about the middle class as does Senor Wences, Felipe Calderon, from Mexico – who was applauded, while Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer, gets severely chastised – and he complains to the UN, wanting to punish a rep. of a state in his own country. - Obama Administration Submits Arizona Immigration Law to U.N. Review, Reviving Questions About U.S. Engagement With Human Rights Council Tuesday, August 31, 2010; his healthscare TAX, along with c*ap & tax, and unfunded mandates are forcing businesses to horde their profits for possible tax increases – quite a stimulus – wish he would stop his “reform” and allow the middle-class/people to vote for their preferred reforms – rather than deem it passed, and bypassing Congress, as done with giving EPA control the of carbon “crisis”, appointing socialists, and questionable people to Congress – just a FEW of the federal government takeover tactics.
“... And we succeeded in passing reform in the hopes of ensuring that we never again face a crisis like the one we’ve been through – a crisis that unleashed an economic downturn as deep as any since the Great Depression...” --- Most of the “reforms” have created a crisis, rather than preventing a crisis.
“... top Republicans in Congress are now beating the drum to repeal all of these reforms and consumer protections...” - Because they are NOT reforms and consumer protections – people know this – people are eating the misleading information/mind candy while the once prosperous America goes to near bankruptcy – can't tell because the debt commission can't produce a budget --newsmax-com Debt Commission Leaders Paint Gloomy Picture 11 Jul 2010
“...Our economy depends on a financial system in which everyone competes on a level playing field, and everyone is held to the same rules – … agree with that, wish this administration, and previous administrations practiced what they preach.
--- I wouldn't trust him, or most in the WhiteHouse to care for my dog.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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