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Weekly remarks: GOP's Ron Johnson on oversized government; Obama on innovation and clean energy

Obama's SOTU 1-25-11 >

Weekly remarks by Sen. Ron Johnson, as provided by Republican Party leadership

Hello, my name is Ron Johnson. I’m the newly elected senator from the great state of Wisconsin.

For those of you who don’t know me, this is the first elective office I have ever sought or held. The reason I ran is simple and straightforward. We are bankrupting America, and I thought it was time for citizen legislators to come to Washington to help those individuals already here that are seriously facing that reality.

For the last 31 years, I have been running a plastics manufacturing plant in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. As a manufacturer, I have learned to identify and attack the root cause of a problem, not spend my time addressing mere symptoms. Huge deficits, slow economic activity, high ....

.... unemployment and woefully inadequate job creation are severe symptoms of the problem. They are not the root cause. The ever expanding size, scope and cost of government is. This is what we must address. This is what I hope the President has come to realize. 

I hope the president and his allies in Congress accept a simple truth: Big government is blocking job creation, not helping it. The sooner Washington ends its dependence on more spending, the sooner our economy will see real growth.

I bring the perspective of someone who’s been creating jobs, meeting a payroll, balancing a budget and living under the rules, regulations and taxes that politicians here in Washington impose on the rest of us. I know firsthand the incentives and disincentives, the intended and unintended consequences of government intrusion into our lives.

Unfortunately, when it comes to creating jobs, government is rarely helpful. Government tends to make it harder and more expensive to create jobs. We need to make job creation easier and cheaper.

Recently, President Obama talked about the harmful effect of government over-regulation. Highlighting this problem is long overdue. The Small Business Administration estimates that government regulations cost our economy $1.7 trillion annually.

According to the IRS’ own figures, it cost taxpayers 6.1 billion hours to comply with tax code just last year. This is a staggering amount of money. And it is money that is not available for consumption, business investment, or job creation. That’s a problem.

The president often speaks of making investments in our economy. If he  means allowing taxpayers and businesses to keep more of their hard-earned dollars and providing them the freedom to invest where they choose, I’m all for it.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid he means more government spending and more government control. The lesson we all should have learned from the pitiful results of the $814 billion stimulus bill is that growing government does not grow our economy or create long term, self-sustaining jobs. It is the private sector that creates jobs.  
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson
 History proves that governments do not know how to efficiently allocate capital. Millions of private individuals, acting independently within the free market system, do it best.

We need to encourage and incentivize entrepreneurs, not tax and regulate them out of business.

We’ve also heard the president talk about controlling spending and the deficit. If he’s serious about it, he should present a serious plan. If he does, I feel confident Republicans will be willing to help him get it passed. 

In his response to the State of the Union address, my fellow Wisconsinite Paul Ryan -– a leader in tackling our spending problem -- did a great job of expressing our willingness to work with the president and pointing out how critical it is for us to act now, before it’s too late.

The issues of spending, deficits and the debt will be central in the upcoming debate over the 2011 spending bill and the need to raise the debt ceiling. This will be the moment of truth when talk and rhetoric must be turned into action and tangible results. Real reductions must be part of the solution.

As a business person, I’m used to getting things done. I came here to accomplish something, to help solve the very serious problems facing our nation. I also came to Washington with a deep reverence for the genius of our founding Fathers, what they passed on to us, and what they hoped we would preserve. Their fight for freedom, their belief in the power of the free market system, and their vision of a limited government is what has made America the greatest nation in the history of mankind.

It is our honor and our duty to be worthy stewards of this legacy.  It is our turn to act responsibly. Thank you.     #####

Obama gives his SOTU 1-25-11

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

I’m speaking to you today from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where I’m at an innovative company called Orion Energy Systems.

Just a few years ago, this was an empty warehouse. A major employer had shut down this factory, moved its operations abroad, and took a lot of jobs away from this town.

But today, as you can see behind me, this is a thriving enterprise once more. You are looking at a factory where 250 workers are building advanced clean energy systems –- state-of-the-art technologies that use solar power and energy efficiency to save farms and businesses thousands of dollars on their utility bills.

I’m here because this business and others like it are showing us the way forward. And in the coming days, I’ll be shining a spotlight on innovators across America who are relying on new technologies to create new jobs and opportunities in new industries.   Obama waves to Wisconsin workers 1-26-11 at Orion Energy

 That’s what companies like Orion are doing. And that’s how America will win the future –- by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our competitors. We’ll win the future by being the best place on Earth to do business.  That is what we are called to do at this moment. And in my state of the union, I talked about how we get there.

It starts by making sure that every single child can get a good education and every American can afford college or career training. Because that’s what will help light the spark in the minds of innovators -– and ensure that our people have the skills to work for innovative companies.

We also need to make sure that America can move goods and information as fast as any of our competitors, whether on the road or online. Because good infrastructure helps our businesses sell their products and services faster and cheaper.

We have to reform our government and cut wasteful spending, so that we eliminate what we don’t need to pay for the investments we need to grow, like education and medical research.

And as we can see here in Manitowoc, we need to ensure that we are promoting innovation -– especially in promising areas like clean energy. This is going to be key to growing our economy and helping businesses create jobs. Orion, for example, was able to open with the help of small business loans and incentives that are creating demand for clean energy technologies like wind power and solar panels. 

That’s why I’ve proposed a bigger tax credit for the research that companies do. And to give these companies the certainty of knowing there will be a market for what they sell, I’ve set this goal for America: by 2035, 80 percent of electricity should come from clean energy. 

This is going to help spark innovation at businesses across America. This is going to spur new products and technologies. This is going to lead to good, new jobs.  And that’s how we win the future –- by unleashing the talent and ingenuity of American businesses and American workers in every corner of this country.

So to those who say that America’s best days are behind us, let them come here, to Manitowoc. Let them come to this once-shuttered factory that is now bustling with workers building new technologies for the world.  Let them come here to see the incredible promise of our country.

This is the future. And it’s bright. Thank you.    ####


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Photos: Tim Sloan / AFP / Getty Images; Allen Fredericks / Reuters (Johnson); Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press; Brian Kersey / Pool via Getty Images.

Comments () | Archives (6)

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But wait, isn't Johnson a Republican? Wasn't it the last eight years of Republican government that pushed us so deep into the red? In fact, Bush, Reagan and Bush are the three biggest deficit creators of all time!

How can Johnson say these things with a straight face? I guess he's simply a very very good liar.

> According to the IRS’ own figures, it cost taxpayers 6.1 billion hours to comply with tax code just last year. This is a staggering amount of money. And it is money that is not available for consumption, business investment, or job creation. That’s a problem.

So we simply tax code, then put a bunch of tax lawyers out of business? That's their career, won't that increase unemployment?

More spending on "green" projects? Stop the scam now we can not afford Obama selling us out to GE any more! USA - Dr. Edward F Blick, Professor of Meteorology and Engineering at University of Oklahoma retired Air Force atmospheric scientist, rejected man-made climate fears in 2007.
"Is their any solid evidence the earth is warming due to man's use of fossil fuels transferring excessive amounts of CO2 in our atmosphere? The answer is NO!" Blick wrote on June 17, 2007 in an article titled "The Religions of Global Warming."
"The amount of CO2 that man puts into the atmosphere each year is about 3 billion tons per year. But this is insignificant compared to the 39,000 billion tons in our oceans, 2,200 billion tons in our vegetation and soils, and 750 billion tons in our atmosphere. Much of the CO2 generated by man is consumed by vegetation," Blick explained. "Man cannot control the weather, but he can kill millions of people in his vain attempt to control it, by limiting or eliminating the fuel that we use," US scientist "Hal Lewis resigned from his post at the University of California at Santa Barbara". He admitted global warming climate change was nothing but a scam in his resignation letter. "It's just another attempt of the left to grab power in any fashion that they can."It's too bad the ClimateGate emails don't show what you want them to.I can be contacted at work and yes please keep those jokes coming in you guys have been making my day. GE building better weapons to sell to our wonder Obama is so close to them! Obama he sure loves his war! Four more years! Come on Dems chant with me Four more years! Four more years!Of war in Afghanistan! Lets hope Cheney agrees to be on the ticket in 2012 Obama/Cheney warmongers you can believe in!

Read you own Constitution, specifically Article 1, Section 8. Your reporters don't tell you the facts since they upset you little Dems so much, most don't even know their own Constitution. ONLY Congress can tax, spend or debt. Read the public Congressional Record, specifically for the past four years with full and complete Democratic Control of the Senate and House. Doubling deficits from Republicans the previous 4 years. Since Obama took office 2 years ago, a total national debt increased by just under $5 trillion, or 1/3rd of our total national debt. Don't blame Bush...or Obama for what they asked for...blame those who gave them the money....Congress, totally controlled by Democrats for the past 4 years, creating more debt than any Congress in history....all documented on the public Congressional Record by Democrats themselves.
You do know Obama took half a trillion dollars from the middle class and lent it to his good friends and largest contributors Goldmann Sachs? I wonder how many people in the middle class could have saved their homes withe the one percent interest rate Obama gave to his wall street friends? Do you think anyone at Goldmann Sachs lost their homes?

Tom Human,

Would you please cite the sources showing that the Bush, Reagan, Bush are the "three biggest deficit creators of all time." We both know that is a lie. Obama has dwarfed all of them. In three years he has almost spent more than all of them combined.

This article shows the deficits during Bush 2's years which added more to the deficit than either Bush 1 or Reagan. It's not even close. Obama is spending us into a third world country.

Senator Johnson we need your help to stop or some how limit the trading of commodities by big money funds. The price of oil is now at a new near high. heating oil is costing over $3.00 per gallon, diesel is $3.55. gasoline at $3.19.
There is no shortage of oil! What goes on in the middle east doesn't effect our supply which is from Canada here in the midwest. This is crazy, corn and beans are driving the price of beef up. I am happy that farmers are getting great prices but this will all drive us into a deeper recession. The people who can affoerd theses prices the least are going to suffer. I know we need to stop our independence on foreign oil, but we can't change the infra structure over night. Our fastest way to independence is 25 new nuclear power plants, but that will take time. We have lots of natural gas but only a few vehicles that will use cng, no stations to supply cng, and a lot of concern about the safety of it all. We need cheap energy to run our ecomony until all other alternitives can be considered. It is my opinion we must limit the drastic swings in energy costs. If you think ExxonMobil is making too much money break them back into two companies like they were in 1998. But best of all limit the paper trades of commodities ot actual physical gallons. It is my opinion we are trading more paper by far than actual gallons. It is being done by a few for high stakes profit at the expense of consummers. Thank you for reading this
Sincerely Don Olin


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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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