- (Photo: Reuters)
After giving President Obama a less than passing grade for his jobs plan, House Speaker John Boehner addressed the Economic Club of Washington Thursday, laying out his own jobs strategy. He continued to criticize Obama’s plan as a “poor substitute” for pro-growth policies and also said the president made “initiatives that seem to have more to do with the next election than the next generation.”
Boehner promised to consider the president’s proposals but said the government has gotten too big and has become an obstacle for private business owners. Boehner said he fears Obama’s plans will just add to the size of government.
The government needs to realize who creates jobs in this country: the private sector, the Ohio Republican stated.
“Job creators in America are essentially on strike,” he said, according to excerpts released by the speaker’s office. “The problem is not confusion about the policies. The problem is the policies.”
Boehner also went after the administration for what he called a constant "threat of new taxes, out-of-control spending and unnecessary regulation from a government that is always micromanaging, meddling and manipulating."
Last week, President Obama introduced a stimulus plan that included a mix of $253 billion in tax cuts and $194 billion in new spending, which was designed to propel the economy.
Top Republicans initially liked some of the plan, until they found out Obama planned to pay for the spending with tax hikes.
And that's a non-starter, according Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and leading Republican economist.
"The speaker is certainly going to point out the deficiencies in what the president has proposed," he told CNN.
"Tax increases, I think, are off the table," Boehner said in his speech, "It's a very simple equation. Tax increases destroy jobs. And the Joint Committee is a jobs committee. Its mission is to reduce the deficit that is threatening job creation in our country."
The 12-person committee was established in August when Congress raised the debt ceiling. It has until Nov. 23 to propose ways to reduce deficits and Congress must hold an up or down vote by Dec. 23. According to Boehner, the only thing the committee should decide is spending cuts and entitlement reform.
However, Boehner did seem more supportive of the committee than many of his fellow Republicans. He spoke favorably of it, saying it “must succeed” in its goal to reduce the deficit. The cuts need to be real and meaningful, not “myths” or events that will happen years down the road, he said.
“The anger many Americans have been feeling in recent years is beginning to turn into fear – fear of our future,” Boehner said.
As a result, he stressed urgency in dealing with the economic situation of the country. The first step in doing so, according to Boehner, is for both sides of the aisle to stop the “name-calling, the yelling, and the questioning of others’ motives.”