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Weekly remarks: Obama seeks GOP help on economy; GOP's John Boehner says, 'Stop the spending spree!'

October 30, 2010 |  3:00 am

Happy Democrat president Barack Obama relaxes in the Oval Office

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

Tuesday is election day, and here in Washington, the talk is all about who will win and who will lose –- about parties and politics.

But around kitchen tables, I’m pretty sure you’re talking about other things: about your family finances, or maybe the state of the economy in your hometown; about your kids, and what their futures will bring. And your hope is that once this election is over, the folks you choose to represent you will put the politics aside for a while, and work together to solve problems.

That’s my hope, too.

Whatever the outcome on Tuesday, we need to come together to help put people who are still looking for jobs back to work. And there are some practical steps we can....

...take right away to promote growth and encourage businesses to hire and expand. These are steps we all should be able to agree on –- not Democratic or Republican ideas, but proposals that have traditionally been supported by both parties.

We ought to provide continued tax relief for middle class families who have borne the brunt of the recession. We ought to allow businesses to defer taxes on the equipment they buy next year. And we ought to make the research and experimentation tax credit bigger and permanent -– to spur innovation and foster new products and technologies.

Beyond these near-term steps, we should work together to tackle the broader challenges facing our country –- so that we remain competitive and prosperous in a global economy. That means ensuring that our young people have the skills and education to fill the jobs of a new age. That means building new infrastructure -– from high-speed trains to high-speed Internet -– so that our economy has room to grow. And that means fostering a climate of innovation and entrepreneurship that will allow American businesses and American workers to lead in growth industries like clean energy.

On these issues –- issues that will determine our success or failure in this new century –- I believe it’s the fundamental responsibility of all who hold elective office to seek out common ground.  It may not always be easy to find agreement; at times we’ll have legitimate philosophical differences.  And it may not always be the best politics.  But it is the right thing to do for our country.

That’s why I found the recent comments by the top two Republican in Congress so troubling. The Republican leader of the House actually said that “this is not the time for compromise.”  And the Republican leader of the Senate said his main goal after this election is simply to win the next one.

I know that we’re in the final days of a campaign. So it’s not surprising that we’re seeing this heated rhetoric.  That’s politics.  But when the ballots are cast and the voting is done, we need to put this kind of partisanship aside –- win, lose, or draw.

In the end, it comes down to a simple choice. We can spend the next two years arguing with one another, trapped in stale debates, mired in gridlock, unable to make progress in solving the serious problems facing our country. We can stand still while our competitors –- like China and others around the world –- try to pass us by, making the critical decisions that will allow them to gain an edge in new industries.

Or we can do what the American people are demanding that we do.  We can move forward.  We can promote new jobs and businesses by harnessing the talents and ingenuity of our people.  We can take the necessary steps to help the next generation – instead of just worrying about the next election.  We can live up to an allegiance far stronger than our membership in any political party.  And that’s the allegiance we hold to our country. Thank you.    ####

Capitol Dome

Weekly remarks by Rep. John Boehner, as provided by Republican Party leadership 

Hello. I’m John Boehner. 

Before I served in Congress, I ran a small business here in Ohio, and I saw first-hand how politicians in Washington can make it harder for small employers to meet a payroll and create jobs. 

In the final days of the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama promised to ‘change this country and change the world.’

Well I don’t know about the world, but here at home, Americans haven’t experienced the change President Obama promised.  One in ten of our fellow citizens is out of work. Our national debt has grown by $3 trillion. Trust in government has fallen to an all-time low.

Now these problems didn’t start under President Obama. But instead of fixing them, his policies have made them worse. A ‘stimulus’ spending spree that created jobs in China and El Salvador, while millions of Americans lost their jobs here. A job-killing national energy tax. A government takeover of health care. 

All these things have combined to create massive uncertainty for small businesses, the engine of job creation in America, while our children face a future clouded by debt.

Americans are demanding a new way forward in Washington – an approach that neither party has tried. 

It starts with cutting spending instead of increasing it; making government smaller and more accountable; and helping small businesses get back to creating jobs again.

That’s what Republicans are offering with our Pledge to America, a governing agenda built by listening to the people.

A generation of fiscal recklessness in Washington has pushed us to the brink. Just to stay afloat, we’re now borrowing 41 cents of every dollars we spend from our kids and grandkids. Ohio Republican House leader John Boehner

This spending spree threatens our children’s future. It’s also hurting our economy.  Americans know it has to stop, and our Pledge to America puts forth a plan to do just that.  We’re ready to cut spending to pre-‘stimulus,’ pre-bailout levels, saving taxpayers $100 billion almost immediately. 

And we’re ready to put in place strict budget caps that limit spending from here on out, to ensure that Washington no longer is on this spending binge.

We need to stop the coming tax hike.  We can’t balance the budget without cutting spending and achieving real economic growth –- and we won’t have real economic growth if we raise taxes on small businesses and families. 

There’s a third thing we need to do to help our economy, and that’s change Congress itself.  The American people are in charge of this country, and they deserve a Congress that acts like it.  Americans should have three days to read all bills before Congress votes on them -– something they didn’t get when the ‘stimulus’ was rushed into law.  We should put an end to so-called ‘comprehensive’ bills that make it easy to hide wasteful spending projects and job-killing policies.  Bills should be written by legislators in committee in plain public view –- not written in the Speaker’s office, behind closed doors.

Across our nation, Americans are looking at President Obama’s policies and asking -– ‘where are the jobs?’  To help our economy get back on track, we have to stop all of the coming tax hikes and cut spending – and to cut spending, we need to change Congress itself. 

This is a new way forward that hasn’t been tried in Washington yet.  It’s a break from the direction in which President Obama has taken our country.  And frankly, it’s also a break from the direction in which Republicans were headed when Americans last entrusted us with the reins of government.  The American people are in charge, and they deserve nothing less.

Together, we can do these things.  And in doing so, we can begin the drive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government that honors our Constitution and respects the will of the American people. 

These ideas are at the core of our Pledge to America.

We’ve tried it President Obama’s way.  We’ve tried it Washington’s way.  It hasn’t worked.  It’s time to put the people back in charge. 

Thank you for your time and may God bless the United States of America.    ####

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Photo credits: Pete Souza / White House; Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press (lone worker vents hot air from the Capitol); J. David Ake / Associated Press (Boehner).

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