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U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio Responds to President's State of the Union

Congressman critical of Obama's remarks.

Congressman Kerry Bentivolio, R-Milford, released the following statement Tuesday following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address:

“President Obama keeps trying to convince us that giving up our freedoms and letting the government make our decisions on how to run our lives is a sign of progress. He wants the government to tell us how to run our businesses. He wants the government to get between us and our doctors. He wants the government to take more of our nation’s hard earned money instead of letting us spend it for ourselves. All of these intrusions make us less prosperous, less healthy, and less free.

“This evening we heard the same tired rhetoric from the president. From his speech to Congress in February 2009 to tonight, President Obama has continually stated that he plans to focus his attention on creating jobs and jumpstarting our faltering economy without actually doing so. Why should members of Congress expect him to suddenly turn his attention to the creation of jobs when in his recent inaugural address the millions of Americans without employment went unmentioned? I hope that the president will work with House Republicans to get rid of obstacles created by the government that are hurting our job producers. As a Senator, President Obama once gave a speech declaring that “words matter;” unfortunately, he seems to believe that words are the only things that matter.  This is why he says so much and does so little to help struggling Americans across my state of Michigan, and our nation.

“Furthermore, his demand that more taxes be imposed on our job creators just three months after a tax increase went into effect on 70% of Americans shows a dangerous lack of economic understanding. It is difficult to take the President seriously when he chastises Republicans about the upcoming sequester, when he was the one that proposed it. Mr. Obama is the only President in the history of the nation to have his budget rejected unanimously by Congress. It has happened twice in three years. His proposals have been so unserious that even his own party rejected them.  I ask the president to a produce a set of spending cuts for consideration in the House. The Republicans negotiated in good faith; now it is time for him to do the same.

“Finally, a few weeks ago, the Congressional Budget Office released its annual update which projected that over $7 trillion will be added to the federal debt over the next 10 years even if the sequester goes into effect. The president may have rhetoric, but it is the House Republicans who have math on their side. If we want to pass down a healthy nation to the next generation we must pass a budget that can be balanced sooner rather than later.

“It takes courage to start new businesses and create new jobs. We should not be piling on debt while burdening our entrepreneurs with plans for new taxation. To encourage our job creators, we need to give them the freedom to innovate.  The President asks, ‘How do we attract more jobs to our shores?’ The answer is by not having one of the highest corporate and business taxes in the world. The president asks, ‘How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs?’ The answer is by offering real school reform that focuses on empowering students and parents. The president asks, ‘How do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?’ The answer is that we must streamline regulations so that it easier to hire new workers rather than making it more difficult.

“The President says that he wants to focus on tax reform. I agree. We must produce a tax reform that is both fair and easy to understand. That’s the progress the American people are searching for. I look forward to working with the White House and my congressional colleagues to create real solutions rather than simply giving speeches filled with unreasonable demands that even members of his own party will not support.”

Bentivolio represents Michigan's 11th congressional district. 

Do you agree with Bentivolio's remarks? Sound off in the comments below.

Dan Shoop February 13, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Spot on, Representative Bentivolio! But then..... we knew all that going into the election and we voted for the statists anyway.
Tim Reynolds February 13, 2013 at 12:53 PM
I am very disappointed in this Congressman's opinion. The same old rhetoric and ideology of the past failed thinking. Taking office a a relatively unknown I was hoping for someone with incite and willing to work for us in Washington. What a disappointment. Same old stuff. You say, “Furthermore, his demand that more taxes be imposed on our job creators just three months after a tax increase went into effect on 70% of Americans shows a dangerous lack of economic understanding." You had your 10 years of Bush tax cuts and what happened to Jobs? Your so called "Job Creators" don't spend their money to provide jobs for others. They add Jobs when demand requires it and that comes from the consumers when thy have a living wage and have the resources to create the demand. All the tax cuts do is cut revenue that can be used to create work (demand) by building the crumbling infrastructure of this Country. Who does the work on bridges, roads and other things we all benefit from? The private sector....
Tim Reynolds February 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM
From Comcast By CALVIN WOODWARD, AP "THE FACTS: That statement may reflect the math behind recent debt, but it doesn't get directly to the cause — the worst recession since the Depression and its aftereffects. The deficit is not only caused by spending, but by reduced tax revenues. And during the recession, revenues from both individual and corporate taxes fell markedly. The steep increases in debt and the measures that should be taken to ease the burden are central to the debate in Washington. But there is no serious move afoot to amend the Constitution to prohibit deficit spending. The ability to take on debt has been used by governments worldwide and through U.S. history to shelter people from the ravages of a down economy, wage war and achieve many other ends."
Frank Stearns February 13, 2013 at 01:02 PM
This is the best response to our current state of the union that I have read. Thank you Congressman Bentivolio, and thank you Michigan for sending him to Washington. Frank, Pennsylvania.
Sandy Hughes O'Brien February 13, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Let's not let facts and logic get in the way of Mr. Bentivolio's opinions. Talk about your "tired rhetoric"! Our congressional district deserves better.
Boiling February 13, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Sandy: I agree, btw, Mr. Bentivolio should refrain from speaking for members of the "Other Party".
Steve C February 14, 2013 at 05:46 AM
Really, Tim. Ronald Reagan promoted these same ideas and created a foundation for one of the most prosperous periods in American history. John F Kennedy lowered taxes and we prospered. The Bush era tax cuts got us out of the dot-com recession. Liberal socialist policies led to housing collapse. This current President has no concept of what it's like to start a business, hire employees, make a budget, pay bills, etc... The regulations this administration has saddle business with has continued to strangle this economy, not to mention the enormous burden "Obama-care'' will place on our economy when fully implemented by 2014. I was in Canada over the Christmas holiday and had to visit one of the hospitals there, if that is were we are heading, we are in real trouble. The providence of Ontario contracts to the DMC for millions a year to handle procedures than don't have the capability of handling...who will we contract to when our health care becomes just as sub standard? This is the most disastrous administration in the history of America. He is trying to change America into a European socialist state. How is that working out for Greece, Italy, Spain and France?!?
Tim Reynolds February 14, 2013 at 01:32 PM
The defining economic policy of the last decade, of course, was the Bush tax cuts. Bush and Congress, passed a large tax cut in 2001, sped up its implementation in 2003 and predicted that prosperity would follow. The economic growth that actually followed — indeed, the whole history of the last 20 years — offers one of the most serious challenges to modern conservatism. Bill Clinton and the elder George Bush both raised taxes in the early 1990s, and conservatives predicted disaster. Instead, the economy boomed, and incomes grew at their fastest pace since the 1960s. Then came the younger Mr. Bush, the tax cuts, the disappointing expansion and the worst downturn since the Depression. In terms of total increase in "federal debt to GDP" under U.S. presidents in the post-World War II era, Republican presidents during their terms have contributed far more to the debt load of the nation than Democrats.

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