WASHINGTON – In advance of the President’s State of the Union address this evening, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the incoming Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today outlined in a speech on the Senate floor how the Obama Administration’s massive spending increases have greatly contributed to the nation’s soaring debt  and called on the Administration to work to fix the fiscal mess facing America.  Click HERE for a full copy of the speech.

The following are excerpts from his speech:

On the Obama Administration’s Historic Spending Spree:

“Well before citizens began organizing against this Administration and its historic spending spree, the President and his Democratic allies in Congress were justifying their stimulus program by blaming the previous Administration.  Yet, trying to pass off the consequences of the last two years on a long-retired President and a Congress that ended over four years ago is no longer plausible. Try as they might, revisionist fiscal history will not absolve our friends on the other side for the fiscal decisions made on their watch.  It is well past time that this Administration stop pointing fingers.  The American people are demanding that their elected representatives, in Congress and the White House, act like adults and fix this fiscal mess.”

On Labeling Spending as “Investment:”
“But merely re-labeling new spending as investments will not make our deficits go away, and it will do nothing to tackle our escalating debt. The President must give serious attention to the legitimate arguments and concerns of conservative citizens if he wants to achieve anything more than a pleasant sounding rhetorical flourish.  President Obama did inherit a serious budget deficit.  And our friends on the other side will, once again, applaud that line.  They will cheer the assertion that they merely inherited deficits. They will spin the convenient tale that Republicans alone bequeathed the deficit to President Obama.  But that is not the case. And the record is clear.”

On Raising the Debt Limit:
“The President’s desire for a larger level of public debt is a consequence of the fiscal policy choices that he and a Democratic Congress have made over the last two years. Between 2007 and 2010, Democrats enjoyed unprecedented control over federal policy.  When the President was inaugurated two years ago, he set to work with historic majorities in both the House and Senate. Never letting a crisis go to waste, he sought a fundamental restructuring of the American economy, one in which government would play a starring role.”

On Addressing Deficit Reduction:
“When the President laid out his last two budgets, the loudest bipartisan applause came when he stressed fiscal discipline. That reaction should surprise no one. Though conservatives led the way, the American people understand that deficit reduction is not a partisan issue.  If the promises of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution – promises of liberty and opportunity – are to mean anything for future generations, our country needs to take up deficit reduction now. Republicans are going to insist on meaningful deficit reduction as a course correction to our currently unsustainable fiscal path.  As our nation comes out of this painful slow-growth period — hopefully sooner rather than later — we must focus on cutting the deficit, and the debt.  As Republicans, we agree with the President on the priority of fiscal discipline.  But deeds mean more than words.”

On the Fiscally Burdensome “Stimulus” Bill:
“Along with most of my Republican colleagues, I rejected this stimulus bill for several reasons.  First was the size and the form of the stimulus.  Most on our side understood that $1 trillion in deficit spending was an unacceptable burden on the people who would ultimately foot the bill. Second, we questioned the focus of the stimulus.  We weren’t keen on trying to grow the economy by priming the government pump.  Spending $1 trillion of taxpayer money on the academic theory that you have to spend money to make money was a gamble the American taxpayer could not afford.  And last year, while the Administration and its allies were out promoting Recovery Summer, citizens in Utah and around the country had long before figured out that the Administration’s stimulus bet was a big loser. Finally, what disturbed us most was the hidden fiscal burden built into the bill.  Although sold as a $787 billion bill, the real cost of the stimulus was, in fact, much higher.”   

On the Budget-Busting $2.6 Trillion Obamacare:
“In the end, only Republican votes carried that stand-alone deficit reduction measure. Yet, now American taxpayers are being asked to believe that Democrats have found religion on deficits and debt. Our friends on the other side will, no doubt, say time out. We’ve produced a significant deficit reduction bill, they will say. They will point to last year’s Obamacare legislation.  They will argue that this bill, which creates massive new entitlements, somehow saves money.  Our Democratic friends will even cite a CBO score showing $230 billion in deficit reduction from this bill. This assertion does not pass the laugh test. Anyone who looks beyond the basic score will see that Obamacare is another huge deficit generator that will burden the American taxpayer for generations to come.”

On Increasing Access to Global Markets:
“Maybe the Administration is waking up to the importance of our pending trade agreements for our exports and the workers that make them. But the proof of his commitment to our exporters must go beyond the Korea FTA.  We can no longer let our trade agreements with Panama and Colombia languish as we lose competitiveness and allow other countries to seize these markets for their workers.  Talking about trade does not produce jobs.  We need the President to take action and submit these agreements to Congress. And we need that action now.  The U.S. worker cannot afford to wait. Passage of these trade agreements can boost our economy and our competitiveness without additional spending.”

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  1. ctrentelman says:

    oh come on orrin — obama’s not doing anything bush, reagan, bush, ike, and all the rest did — how many times did Bush I and II use the term “investment?”

    And as to the debt ceiling, on a percentage basis Reagan, I believe, still holds the record for more than doubling it, but I bet Bush II is close with his unfunded wars. Were those an “investment” as well?

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