Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

GOP Response: Obama Relying Too Heavily on Government to Fix Country’s Problems

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) used the GOP response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Wednesday night to slam the administration and Congressional Democrats for relying too heavily on the government to fix the nation’s problems.

“Today, the federal government is simply trying to do too much. Last year, we were told that massive new federal spending would create more jobs ‘immediately’ and hold unemployment below 8 percent. In the past year, over three million Americans have lost their jobs, yet the Democratic Congress continues deficit spending, adding to the bureaucracy and increasing the national debt on our children and grandchildren,” McDonnell said in his prepared response delivered immediately after Obama’s national address.

Rather than increased government action, the newly elected McDonnell argued: “The circumstances of our time demand that we reconsider and restore the proper, limited role of government at every level. Without reform, the excessive growth of government threatens our very liberty and prosperity.”

On issues ranging from health care reform to job creation, McDonnell repeatedly sought to cast Democratic efforts as overly intrusive while painting Republicans as the keepers of the Reagan-era notion of limited government.

For instance, on health care, McDonnell argued that Democratic plans would lead to the nation turning “over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government,” while asserting that GOP “solutions aren’t thousand-page bills that no one has fully read, after being crafted behind closed doors with special interests.”

McDonnell spoke from the House chamber at the Virginia Capitol in Richmond.

On jobs and the economy, McDonnell argued that the government should look to “promote entrepreneurship and innovation,” rather than piling “on more taxation, regulation, and litigation that kill jobs and hurt the middle class.” McDonnell also called for cuts to federal spending beyond the three-year, non-military freeze called for by Obama.

“The amount of this debt is on pace to double in five years, and triple in ten. The federal debt is already over $100,000 per household. This is simply unsustainable. The President’s partial freeze on discretionary spending is a laudable step, but a small one. The circumstances of our time demand that we reconsider and restore the proper, limited role of government at every level,” McDonnell said.

McDonnell did find some common ground with the administration during his speech, particularly on education. “The President and I agree on expanding the number of high-quality charter schools, and rewarding teachers for excellent performance. More school choices for parents and students mean more accountability and greater achievement,” McDonnell said, adding that, “a child’s educational opportunity should be determined by her intellect and work ethic, not by her zip code.”

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