Republicans say Obama's plan is irresponsible

Republican leaders continued their attacks on President Barack Obama's handling of the economy yesterday, calling it irresponsible and certain to increase taxes and federal debt.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Feb 25, 2009 12:44 PM IST
Copy Link
AP | By, Washington

Republican leaders continued their attacks on President Barack Obama's handling of the economy on Tuesday, calling it irresponsible and certain to increase taxes and federal debt. Responding to Obama's televised speech to a joint session of Congress, top Republicans said the president relies too heavily on spending, and not enough on tax cuts, to try to revive the gasping economy. They said they want to work with Obama, and sometimes blamed congressional Democrats more than him. But their criticisms were sharp and plentiful.

"The way to lead is not to raise taxes and put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians," said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, an Indian-American who gave the Republican Party's official response. The massive economic stimulus bill recently enacted by Obama and congressional Democrats, Jindal said, will expand the government, "increase our taxes down the line, and saddle future generations with debt."

"It's irresponsible," said Jindal, who is eyeing a presidential bid in 2012 and frequently cited his accomplishments in Louisiana. The tone of the Republicans' response was in keeping with their nearly unanimous opposition to the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, which was backed by only three Republicans in the Senate and none in the House. Some Democrats and independents think the Republicans are blundering and misreading most Americans' sentiments about the need for massive government action to help the economy. In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, about three-fourths said Obama was trying to be bipartisan, and almost as many faulted the response of Republican officials, which was seen as politically motivated.

Despite such findings, Republican lawmakers say they believe they will be proven right in the long run.

House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said Tuesday that Republicans want to help Obama find "responsible solutions to the challenges facing our nation, but thus far congressional leaders in the president's own party have stood in the way." Boehner, Jindal and other Republicans repeatedly accused Democrats of wanting to raise taxes, but the Obama-backed stimulus package has extensive tax cuts.

Jindal acknowledged that to some degree, Republicans deserved the drubbing they took in the last two national elections. "You elected Republicans to champion limited government, fiscal discipline, and personal responsibility," he said. "Instead, Republicans went along with earmarks and big government spending in Washington."

Now, he said, "our party is determined to regain your trust." Still, some Republican criticisms ignored the big deficits that occurred when George W Bush was president and Republicans controlled the House and Senate.

"Washington shouldn't be spending money that we don't have," House Republican Whip Eric Cantor said in his response to Obama's speech. He said Republicans will work with Obama, but they will not betray core principles.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was rather conciliatory in his response to Obama's speech. "All Americans were proud eyewitnesses to history as an African-American president addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time," he said. "We will have our differences" in working together, McConnell said. "Republicans believe the road back to prosperity is paved with greater personal freedom, not bigger government." Taking advantage of his moment in the national spotlight, Jindal publicized a Web link Tuesday (http://www.bobbyjindal.com/sotu/) allowing respondents to receive early excerpts of his televised response, and to donate to his political organization. Jindal also collected their e-mail and postal addresses, which could prove handy in a presidential race.

Jindal opened his remarks by hailing Obama's racial breakthrough. "Like the president's father, my parents came to this country from a distant land," he said, referring to India.

In what sometimes sounded like a presidential campaign speech, Jindal said Washington should follow examples set by some state governments, including Louisiana's.

"Since I became governor," he said, "we cut more than 250 earmarks from our state budget" and "cut taxes six times, including the largest income tax cut in the history of our state."

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement at Downing Street in London, Britain, July 7, 2022. (REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)

    British Conservative leaders who were toppled by their party

    Duncan Smith, one of a cabal of right-wing eurosceptics dubbed "bastards" by Major, won the Conservative leadership in 2001, replacing William Hague after the party suffered another election defeat to Labour. He lost a confidence vote, becoming the first Tory leader not to fight a general election since Neville Chamberlain, who was accused of appeasing Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s.

  • Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street in central London. Johnson quit as Conservative party leader, after three tumultuous years in charge marked by Brexit, Covid and mounting scandals. 

    Johnson resigns as conservative party leader. Read full text of his speech here

    Boris Johnson said on Thursday that he would resign as Britain's prime minister, bowing to calls from ministerial colleagues and lawmakers in his Conservative Party. Because if I have one insight into human beings, it is that genius and talent and enthusiasm and imagination are evenly distributed throughout the population but opportunity is not. And that's why we must keep levelling up, keep unleashing the potential in every part of the United Kingdom.

  • Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, makes a resignation speech outside 10 Downing Street in London, UK, on Thursday, July 7, 2022. (Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

    Boris Johnson quits as UK PM, says 'Immensely proud...' | Top quotes

    "In the last few days, I tried persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we're delivering so much and we have such a vast mandate and when we're actually only a handful of votes behind in the polls even in mid-term after quite a few months of pretty relentless sledging," Boris Johnson said during his address.

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement at Downing Street in London, Britain.

    What's next for UK economy as Boris Johnson quits?

    The resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson deepens the uncertainty hanging over Britain's economy, already under strain from an inflation rate heading for double digits, the risk of a recession and Brexit. Theresa May needed less than three weeks to win after David Cameron quit in 2016 as other contenders dropped out. But it took Johnson two months to become the new leader after May announced her intention to resign in 2019.

  • Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

    Boris Johnson resigns as UK PM, says 'sad to give up world's best job'

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally succumbed to political reality Thursday and resigned after the latest ethics scandal around his leadership led some 50 senior lawmakers to quit the government. He said he will continue in office until a new Conservative leader is in place. "It is clearly the will of the parliamentary Conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party, and therefore a new prime minister," Johnson said.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, July 07, 2022