Speaker of the House John Boehner delivered the following remarks at the Annual John M. Ashbrook Memorial Dinner at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio on June 11.
As most of you know, ‘tonight’ was originally supposed to happen a couple of months ago.
We had to reschedule because I had to be in Washington for the final negotiations on the bill to keep the government running and finish last year’s budget.
I was supposed to be with all of you that Friday night. Instead I spent the day on the phone with President Obama, trying to squeeze another billion dollars in spending cuts out of the most powerful man in the world... a very reluctant one, I might add.
Recent economic data show that U.S. job growth in May was negligible, while the official unemployment figure - at least the figure the Labor Department admits to - rose to 9.1 percent. The real unemployment figure, however, as compiled by economist John Williams, may well be higher than 20 percent. It is clear the U.S. economy is in terrible shape, and that no amount of government spending or Federal Reserve quantitative easing can reduce unemployment, increase real productivity, or address our debt fiasco. U.S. jobs and productivity are dependent on the accumulation of private capital to finance existing businesses or fund new entrepreneurial activity. Private capital - whether accumulated by profitable U.S. businesses, invested by private equity and venture capital firms, or attracted from abroad - is the key to economic growth and new jobs. But we cannot create jobs if we demonize profits, punish risk-taking capitalists, and stay hostile to foreign investment.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Thursday regarding the need to view the upcoming debt limit vote as an opportunity to reduce Washington spending, reform entitlements and grow the economy:
With each passing day, the American people grow more concerned about our nation’s future. A Washington Post ABC news poll this week said that by a ratio of 2-to-1, Americans believe we’re on the wrong track and nine out of 10 rate the economy negatively. And yesterday’s CNN poll found that many Americans expect another Great Depression.
It’s in this context that President Obama has started talking about how concerned he is about jobs. This week, the President said he wakes up every morning and asks himself what he can do to spur job creation. And every morning this week I’ve come to the floor with some suggestions for him.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, Americans say by a 2 to 1 margin the country is on the wrong track, and 9 out of 10 continue to rate the economy in negative terms. This same survey showed Americans’ disapproval of how the president is handling the nation’s economy and the outrageous deficit.
Tennesseans are frustrated because, even though the president has already spent hundreds of billions of dollars on a failed stimulus package, he seems unwilling to work with Republicans to come up with a new plan to lower the deficit, cut spending and create jobs. Instead, his administration has talked about a new, larger stimulus – exactly the opposite of what most Americans think we need.
I welcome back my colleagues for what I hope will be a productive month.
This new month is not unlike last month, or the month before, or the month before that. Once again, our constituents are concerned with one thing above all: Jobs.
They’re concerned because of what the economy means for their families and their lives. They’re worried about paying the bills next month and sending their kids to school next year. Too many want to go to the bank and once again know the dignity of depositing a paycheck instead of an unemployment check.