"While Michigan families can certainly appreciate the President focusing on getting America back to work, he unfortunately continues to advance policies that will cost more jobs. His plans to create a massive new energy tax and have the government run America's health care system from Washington, D.C., are both job killers." -- Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton.
Job killers? Seriously? Has Mike Rogers not noticed that his state has been hemorrhaging jobs since he was first elected a decade ago?
It's hard to see how Mr. Rogers' takeaway from the speech focused on an "energy tax" and a purported "government-run" health care system. If he had been paying attention to the President, instead of sitting on his hands and looking for John Boehner's approval, Mr. Rogers might have heard some serious bipartisan points:
Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95% of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas, and food, and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime. [skip]So tonight, I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. I am also proposing a new small business tax credit – one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. While we're at it, let's also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment; and provide a tax incentive for all businesses, large and small, to invest in new plants and equipment.[skip]
President Obama also spoke plainly to the Republicans.
From some on the right, I expect we'll hear a different argument – that if we just make fewer investments in our people, extend tax cuts for wealthier Americans, eliminate more regulations, and maintain the status quo on health care, our deficits will go away. The problem is, that's what we did for eight years. That's what helped lead us into this crisis. It's what helped lead to these deficits. And we cannot do it again. [skip]if the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions.
So how about it, Mr. Rogers? Step up and work for your country -- not just for your party.
If you can't put your politics aside for the good of the nation, then the only job loss that should make local headlines in 2010 is you own.