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Saturday, February 28, 2009

President Obama Weekly Address 022809

President Barack Obama Weekly Address

President Obama: "Two years ago, we set out on a journey to change the way that Washington works.

We sought a government that served not the interests of powerful lobbyists or the wealthiest few, but the middle-class Americans I met every day in every community along the campaign trail – responsible men and women who are working harder than ever, worrying about their jobs, and struggling to raise their families. In so many town halls and backyards, they spoke of their hopes for a government that finally confronts the challenges that their families face every day; a government that treats their tax dollars as responsibly as they treat their own hard-earned paychecks.

That is the change I promised as a candidate for president. It is the change the American people voted for in November. And it is the change represented by the budget I sent to Congress this week.

During the campaign, I promised a fair and balanced tax code that would cut taxes for 95% of working Americans, roll back the tax breaks for those making over $250,000 a year, and end the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas. This budget does that.

I promised an economy run on clean, renewable energy that will create new American jobs, new American industries, and free us from the dangerous grip of foreign oil. This budget puts us on that path, through a market-based cap on carbon pollution that will make renewable energy the profitable kind of energy; through investments in wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient American cars and American trucks.

I promised to bring down the crushing cost of health care – a cost that bankrupts one American every thirty seconds, forces small businesses to close their doors, and saddles our government with more debt. This budget keeps that promise, with a historic commitment to reform that will lead to lower costs and quality, affordable health care for every American.

I promised an education system that will prepare every American to compete, so Americans can win in a global economy. This budget will help us meet that goal, with new incentives for teacher performance and pathways for advancement; new tax credits that will make college more affordable for all who want to go; and new support to ensure that those who do go finish their degree.

This budget also reflects the stark reality of what we’ve inherited – a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession. Given this reality, we’ll have to be more vigilant than ever in eliminating the programs we don’t need in order to make room for the investments we do need. I promised to do this by going through the federal budget page by page, and line by line. That is a process we have already begun, and I am pleased to say that we’ve already identified two trillion dollars worth of deficit-reductions over the next decade. We’ve also restored a sense of honesty and transparency to our budget, which is why this one accounts for spending that was hidden or left out under the old rules.

I realize that passing this budget won’t be easy. Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington. I know that the insurance industry won’t like the idea that they’ll have to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but that’s how we’ll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs for American families. I know that banks and big student lenders won’t like the idea that we’re ending their huge taxpayer subsidies, but that’s how we’ll save taxpayers nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable. I know that oil and gas companies won’t like us ending nearly $30 billion in tax breaks, but that’s how we’ll help fund a renewable energy economy that will create new jobs and new industries. In other words, I know these steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they’re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this:

So am I.

The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long, but I don’t. I work for the American people. I didn’t come here to do the same thing we’ve been doing or to take small steps forward, I came to provide the sweeping change that this country demanded when it went to the polls in November. That is the change this budget starts to make, and that is the change I’ll be fighting for in the weeks ahead – change that will grow our economy, expand our middle-class, and keep the American Dream alive for all those men and women who have believed in this journey from the day it began.

Thanks for listening."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama's Out of Control Spending

From the Emails Friday 022709

Hey folks,

I have several Emails I want to post today, so this one will be long. For those of you who keep asking why I do not just continuously post on Sundays, or like last Wednesday, and why do I start each one with Hey folks? here is why. But Instead of posting several different ones, I will just post all of them in a continuous method. I really need not comment on any of them, I think you will get the point.

First up, By Chris Gonsalves Posted at Newsmax.com

President Obama's $1 Trillion Tax Hike Plan

Looking to fund an ambitious healthcare program and put more money in the hands of the poor and the non-working, President Barack Obama wants wealthier Americans and businesses to pay nearly $1 trillion in higher taxes over the next decade.

In his proposed 2010 budget, released today, Obama suggests bringing back the top two Clinton-era tax rates of 36 percent and 39.6 percent for the nation’s highest earners. Those taxpayers currently pay 33 percent and 35 percent. More than 2.6 million Americans would be forced to pay the higher rates, according to Bloomberg News.

Tax rates on capital gains and dividends will rise to 20 percent for top earners, up from the 15 percent rate set by former President George W. Bush in 2003.

“It’s a clear repudiation of Bush’s policy,” Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland in College Park, tells Bloomberg. “It’s more Obama Robin Hood.”

As if the rate changes weren’t enough, Obama also proposes punishing the rich by stopping the scheduled repeal of the controversial estate tax next year. The president suggests imposing a 45 percent tax rate on any family’s estate worth more than $7 million.

The Obama tax hikes also include new restrictions on itemized deductions for families that earn more than $250,000 per year. Deductions for things like charitable donations, mortgage interest and investment expenses will be capped at 28 percent for the wealthiest taxpayers, some 30 percent less than they currently get.

By 2020, taxpayers in the wealthiest households will pay $636.7 billion in additional taxes according to estimates in the budget proposal.

The changes would be phased in gradually over the next few years, according to an analysis of the budget by the Wall Street Journal. For the 2009 tax year, the 33 percent tax bracket starts with couples with adjusted earnings of $208,850. A taxpayer in the top bracket paying $1,000 of mortgage interest, for example, would see a tax break worth $350 reduced to $280.

According to estimates from Deloitte Tax, a married couple with 2 children under age 17 and income of $500,000 a year would owe approximately $11,300 more than under current law if all of the tax provisions in Obama's budget request outline were enacted, CNN reported.

The remainder of the $1 trillion tax hike would come from $353.5 billion in additional levies on businesses, especially U.S.-based multinational corporations. Obama’s proposal calls for significantly rewriting the rules on the taxability of profits earned overseas, increased enforcement of international tax collections and changes in accounting that would serve as a “windfall profits tax” aimed largely at the oil companies.

"This budget plan is once again a missed opportunity for American taxpayers — it raises taxes on all Americans, implements massive new spending and fails to make any tough choices to control the deficit," Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., the top Budget Committee Republican, told the Associated Press. Gregg was nominated by Obama to join his Cabinet as commerce secretary but later withdrew.


Next sent in by BG, from The Heritage Foundation,

Another $275 Billion Down the Drain

The House of Representatives is
set to vote on a bill today that would round out the legislative authority necessary for President Barack Obama to institute his $275 billion mortgage bailout plan. Taken together the plans three main components (enabling some select borrowers to refinance their loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, enabling other select borrowers to modify their loans at the cost of taxpayers and lenders, and changing bankruptcy law to allow mortgage cram downs) will bailout the most irresponsible borrowers, raise the cost of borrowing for honest and prudent home buyers, and do nothing to stop the inevitable and necessary correction in housing prices.

Bailing Out the Most Irresponsible: Obama's mortgage bailout bestows new and costly benefits on those who took on more debt (including credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages) than they could handle. Worse, the value of the benefits vary in direct proportion to the degree borrowers were financially irresponsible. Borrowers with as high a debt service payment to income ration of 55% will be eligible for the taxpayer bailout.

Increasing Costs for Honest Borrowers: There are two ways Obama's mortgage bailout hurts honest home buyers. First,
the portion of the plan that makes lenders responsible for half of all mortgage rate reductions will deter private sector investment in all but the best mortgages. Second, the mortgage cram down provisions would create additional risks for lenders who will be forced to compensate for that risk by making new mortgage rates more expensive for future home buyers. First time home buyers and those with moderate incomes would be hardest hit.

Failing to Stop the Housing Price Correction: Our current economic crisis was created by the inevitable popping of a housing bubble. Our financial system and economy will not recover until housing prices correct themselves. The sharp decline in housing prices is
largely confined to just five states (Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, and Nevada). And the drop in housing prices in these localities is so steep that few borrowers will qualify for Obama's bailout. Hence home prices will only keep self-correcting. Also mortgage lenders are already at full capacity refinancing borrowers who do not need government aid. There is simply no way the existing industry has the capacity to refinance another 8 million homeowners in time to stop the market correction. Finally, the re-default rates on mortgages that have already undergone mortgage modifications suggest Obama's mortgage bailout will be, at best, just a temporary band-aid.

For over a year,
first the Bush Administration and now the Obama Administration, have been throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at a problem that does not have a big, invasive, government solution. The road back to economic prosperity lies in an honest assessment of our future spending liabilities, cutting spending, and not raising the tax burden on the American entrepreneurs who have always been the true source of our economic growth.

Up next, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford

We live in perilous times. Jobs are hemorrhaging. Investments and retirement accounts are dwindling. Real estate values are plummeting. And what's the liberal Democratic leadership in Washington doing about it?

Pushing us further in debt with a trillion dollars in so-called "stimulus" money that is really little more than a social policy wish list of the Left. Throwing taxpayer dollars at one failing corporate giant after another with a "bailout-of-the-month" strategy that gets us no reforms, no accountability, and no job growth. And yes, now they're openly talking about raising taxes once again.

Where does this stop?

Unfortunately, it won't stop in Washington. It stops with the nation's conservative Republican Governors. I'm proud of the leadership of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and so many others, who have taken a stand for fiscal responsibility. But we need more of us, and you can help.

This year we have great opportunities to push back the Democratic bailout tide and win governorships in Virginia and New Jersey. And next year, there are a whopping 36 more governors races in every corner of the nation. With your help, we will stop the flow of red ink coming from Washington, and we'll do it by elected a new generation of conservative governors like Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, Haley Barbour, and so many others.

Please go to www.TheGOPComeback.com. Sign our petition to Congress to stop the move toward a bailout nation. And please donate whatever you can to the RGA efforts to win key governors races this year.

Sincerely,

Mark Sanford
Chairman, Republicans Governors Association

Sorry Gov. Sanford. I cannot get the link to work. I even tried to search for the website and it just will not go. However, I am posting it for the information in the actual Email.

OK. Just one more. This one from Bill Miller, Senior Vice President and National Political Director U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

Now is Not the Time to Raise Taxes

Dear Peter,

We've heard a lot about tax increases this week.

Bad idea.

The best way to stimulate our economy now is through tax cuts to put more money into the pockets of Americans and employers.

The evidence is clear: tax cuts spur economic growth and boost tax revenues.

Click
here to sign the open letter to Congress telling them not to raise taxes.

In these challenging times, the last thing Americans need is an added tax burden on top of their other economic woes. Worse still, small businesses - the drivers of our economy - bear the burden of these increases. How are we going to recover if we are placing further burdens on the job creators in this economy?

Let's let them keep more of their hard-earned money to spend, invest and hire new workers.

Sign the open letter today to help make tax relief a reality.

Sincerely,
Signed
Bill Miller
Senior Vice President and National Political Director
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Need I really need to add anything? OK folks, I'm outta here. I have a conference call to attend and a doctors appointment to keep. See you Sunday.
Peter
Note: "From The Emails" is a weekly segment in the Friday edition of the OPNtalk Blog. If you care to send in News Articles, Comments, Stories, or anything else you may wish to share, please feel free to send it to opntalk@aim.com As always, you never know what you are going to see here.

Links:
Newsmax.com - President Obama's $1 Trillion Tax Hike Plan
The Heritage Foundation - Website
Friends of the US Chamber of Commerce - Letter

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Big Wednesday Edition

Preview of what's coming up.

Hey folks,

Happy Wednesday to you. I may not be here tomorrow, we'll have to see if time allows me to be here, but there is some much I want to talk about. From Obama's Poll Numbers slipping, even amongst Democrats, to Burris refusing to resign. But there is a couple of things I have to talk about. So you folks get a special Big Wednesday Edition of the OPNTalk Blog this week.

Coming right up today?

If I do not make it tomorrow, fret not, I'll be here for the Friday From the Emails Segment. Hope you all have a great day. Get your coffee, Mine is "Don Francisco's" Butterscotch Toffee, www.don-francisco.com, and let's get to it.
Peter

Congressional Hearing About Offshore Drilling

New Poll shows amazing numbers.

Hey folks,

Happy Hump Day, February 25, 2009. Why do I give you the actual date? Because today is the day that Rep. Rahall will hold a congressional hearing today about offshore drilling.

Now you all know I have been following this closely. You know that not only do I believe that we need to Drill here, Drill now, and become Energy Independent, but I am actively working towards that goal. So are many of you.

Your voices have been heard. People are listening. But there are still some, that would like nothing more than to ignore you, and replace the Off Shore Drilling Moratoria. We cannot let this happen. As API President Jack Gerard said.

“We should not delay the development of these vital national resources. Americans need this energy now and will need it to power an economic recovery in the future.”

So the poll, that the American Petroleum Institute commissioned to and conducted by Harris Interactive found some amazing numbers. They found that 61 percent of you support access to offshore oil and natural gas resources. Only 26 percent of those polled opposed exploration and development of those resources.

So why is this so amazing?

First, the most obvious is this. Look at the gas prices. We are a fickle people that sometimes have a sort memory. When gas was over $4.00 dollars a gallon, it was understandable that something like 80 percent of you were not only in favor of it, but demanded it. But then the gas prices plummeted. Normally in this case, people get complacent and move on with their lives. But not this time. 61 percent of you support access to offshore oil and natural gas resources, even though the prices are cheaper than they have been in nearly two years.

Another thing that is amazing about this Poll is the make up of it.

Demographics

Republican 23%
Democrat 37%
Independent 33%
Other party 2%
Don’t know/refused 4%

So there were more Democrats and Independent {Which usually lean hard Left} FAR outnumbering Republicans. You know, those Evil, War Mongering, Hate filled, Nature killing, Racist, Homophobes? Still, the numbers are this.

Do you support or oppose increased domestic access to offshore oil and natural gas resources? Is that strongly or somewhat?

Strongly/somewhat support (NET)61%
Strongly/somewhat oppose (NET)26%
Neither support nor oppose (NET)8%
Don’t know 5%

What about replacing the Moratoria?

Do you support or oppose delaying the offshore oil and gas drilling plan? Is that strongly or somewhat?

Strongly/somewhat oppose (NET)50%
Strongly/somewhat support (NET)34%
Neither support nor oppose (NET)11%
Don’t know 5%

So most of you out there get it. This is one of those topics that has all but left the Mainstream Media. They have decided to keep it under the radar and allow those in Congress to do whatever they want. Yet, YOU still understand that this is one of the most important issues of our time. We NEED to do this.

What will happen today? Well, other than you hearing how absolutely brilliant Obama was in his address to Congress last nigh, they will conduct hearing on weather we should or should not become Energy Independent.

What will they do? Time will tell. But it is CLEAR what you want. Now is the time to continue to let them know.
Peter


Sources:
Energy Tomorrow
API

President Obama’s Address to Congress

Transcript as recorded by CQ Transcriptions

OBAMA: Thank you very much.

Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, and the first lady of the United States...


(APPLAUSE)

... who's around here somewhere...


(APPLAUSE)

... I have come here tonight not only to address the distinguished men and women in this great chamber, but to speak frankly and directly to the men and women who sent us here.

I know that for many Americans watching right now, the state of our economy is a concern that rises above all others, and rightly so. If you haven't been personally affected by this recession, you probably know someone who has: a friend, a neighbor, a member of your family.

You don't need to hear another list of statistics to know that our economy is in crisis, because you live it every day. It's the worry you wake up with and the source of sleepless nights. It's the job you thought you'd retire from but now have lost, the business you built your dreams upon that's now hanging by a thread, the college acceptance letter your child had to put back in the envelope.

The impact of this recession is real, and it is everywhere.

But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.

(APPLAUSE)

The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don't lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and our universities, in our fields and our factories, in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth.

Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, if we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that for too long we have not always met these responsibilities, as a government or as a people. I say this not to lay blame or to look backwards, but because it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament.

The fact is, our economy did not fall into decline overnight. Nor did all of our problems begin when the housing market collapsed or the stock market sank.

We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy, yet we import more oil today than ever before.

The cost of health care eats up more and more of our savings each year, yet we keep delaying reform.

Our children will compete for jobs in a global economy that too many of our schools do not prepare them for.

And though all of these challenges went unsolved, we still managed to spend more money and pile up more debt, both as individuals and through our government, than ever before.

In other words, we have lived through an era where too often short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity, where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election.

A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations...

(APPLAUSE)

Regulations -- regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.

Well, that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here.

Now is the time to act boldly and wisely, to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity.

Now is the time to jump-start job creation, re-start lending, and invest in areas like energy, health care, and education that will grow our economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down. That is what my economic agenda is designed to do, and that is what I'd like to talk to you about tonight.

It's an agenda that begins with jobs. As soon...

(APPLAUSE)

As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress to send me a recovery plan by Presidents Day that would put people back to work and put money in their pockets, not because I believe in bigger government -- I don't -- not because I'm not mindful of the massive debt we've inherited -- I am.

I called for action because the failure to do so would have cost more jobs and caused more hardships. In fact, a failure to act would have worsened our long-term deficit by assuring weak economic growth for years. And that's why I pushed for quick action.

And tonight I am grateful that this Congress delivered and pleased to say that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law.

(APPLAUSE)

Over -- over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs. More than 90 percent of these jobs will be in the private sector, jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges, constructing wind turbines and solar panels, laying broadband and expanding mass transit.

Because of this plan, there are teachers who can now keep their jobs and educate our kids. Health care professionals can continue caring for our sick. There are 57 police officers who are still on the streets of Minneapolis tonight because this plan prevented the layoffs their department was about to make.

(APPLAUSE)

Because of this plan, 95 percent of working households in America will receive a tax cut, a tax cut that you will see in your paychecks beginning on April 1st.

(APPLAUSE)

Because of this plan, families who are struggling to pay tuition costs will receive a $2,500 tax credit for all four years of college.

(APPLAUSE)

And Americans -- and Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession will be able to receive extended unemployment benefits and continued health care coverage to help them weather this storm. Now...

(APPLAUSE)

... I know there are some in this chamber and watching at home who are skeptical of whether this plan will work, and I understand that skepticism.

Here in Washington, we've all seen how quickly good intentions can turn into broken promises and wasteful spending. And with a plan of this scale comes enormous responsibility to get it right.

And that's why I've asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort, because nobody messes with Joe.

(APPLAUSE)

I...

(APPLAUSE)

I have told each of my cabinet, as well as mayors and governors across the country, that they will be held accountable by me and the American people for every dollar they spend.

I've appointed a proven and aggressive inspector general to ferret out any and all cases of waste and fraud.

And we have created a new Web site called recovery.gov so that every American can find out how and where their money is being spent.

So the recovery plan we passed is the first step in getting our economy back on track, but it is just the first step, because even if we manage this plan flawlessly, there will be no real recovery unless we clean up the credit crisis that has severely weakened our financial system.

I want to speak plainly and candidly about this issue tonight, because every American should know that it directly affects you and your family's well-being. You should also know that the money you've deposited in banks across the country is safe, your insurance is secure. You can rely on the continued operation of our financial system; that's not the source of concern.

The concern is that, if we do not re-start lending in this country, our recovery will be choked off before it even begins. You see...

(APPLAUSE)

You see, the flow of credit is the lifeblood of our economy. The ability to get a loan is how you finance the purchase of everything from a home to a car to a college education, how stores stock their shelves, farms buy equipment, and businesses make payroll.

But credit has stopped flowing the way it should. Too many bad loans from the housing crisis have made their way onto the books of too many banks. And with so much debt and so little confidence, these banks are now fearful of lending out any more money to households, to businesses, or even to each other.

When there's no lending, families can't afford to buy homes or cars, so businesses are forced to make layoffs. Our economy suffers even more, and credit dries up even further.

That is why this administration is moving swiftly and aggressively to break this destructive cycle, to restore confidence, and restart lending.

And we will do so in several ways. First, we are creating a new lending fund that represents the largest effort ever to help provide auto loans, college loans, and small-business loans to the consumers and entrepreneurs who keep this economy running.

(APPLAUSE)

Second -- second, we have launched a housing plan that will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and refinance their mortgages.

It's a plan that won't help speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling with declining home values, Americans who will now be able to take advantage of the lower interest rates that this plan has already helped to bring about. In fact, the average family who refinances today can save nearly $2,000 per year on their mortgage.

(APPLAUSE)

Third, we will act with the full force of the federal government to ensure that the major banks that Americans depend on have enough confidence and enough money to lend even in more difficult times. And when we learn that a major bank has serious problems, we will hold accountable those responsible, force the necessary adjustments, provide the support to clean up their balance sheets, and assure the continuity of a strong, viable institution that can serve our people and our economy.

Now, I understand that, on any given day, Wall Street may be more comforted by an approach that gives bank bailouts with no strings attached and that holds nobody accountable for their reckless decisions, but such an approach won't solve the problem.

And our goal is to quicken the day when we restart lending to the American people and American business (OOTC:ARBU) and end this crisis once and for all. And I intend to hold these banks fully accountable for the assistance they receive, and this time they will have to clearly demonstrate how taxpayer dollars result in more lending for the American taxpayer.

(APPLAUSE)

This time -- this time, CEOs won't be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks, or buy fancy drapes, or disappear on a private jet. Those days are over.

(APPLAUSE)

Still, this plan will require significant resources from the federal government and, yes, probably more than we've already set aside. But while the cost of action will be great, I can assure you that the cost of inaction will be far greater, for it could result in an economy that sputters along for not months or years, but perhaps a decade.

That would be worse for our deficit, worse for business, worse for you, and worse for the next generation. And I refuse to let that happen.


(APPLAUSE)

Now, I understand that when the last administration asked this Congress to provide assistance for struggling banks, Democrats and Republicans alike were infuriated by the mismanagement and the results that followed. So were the American taxpayers; so was I.

So I know how unpopular it is to be seen as helping banks right now, especially when everyone is suffering in part from their bad decisions. I promise you: I get it.

But I also know that, in a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern out of anger or yield to the politics of the moment.

(APPLAUSE)


My job -- our job -- is to solve the problem. Our job is to govern with a sense of responsibility.

I will not send -- I will not spend a single penny for the purpose of rewarding a single Wall Street executive, but I will do whatever it takes to help the small business that can't pay its workers or the family that has saved and still can't get a mortgage.

That's what this is about. It's not about helping banks; it's about helping people.

(APPLAUSE)

It's not about helping banks; it's about helping people. Because when credit is available again, that young family can finally buy a new home. And then some company will hire workers to build it. And then those workers will have money to spend. And if they can get a loan, too, maybe they'll finally buy that car or open their own business.

Investors will return to the market, and American families will see their retirement secured once more. Slowly, but surely, confidence will return, and our economy will recover.

(APPLAUSE)

So -- so I ask this Congress to join me in doing whatever proves necessary, because we cannot consign our nation to an open-ended recession. And to ensure that a crisis of this magnitude never happens again, I ask Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our outdated regulatory system.

(APPLAUSE)

It is time. It is time.

(APPLAUSE)

It is time to put in place tough, new commonsense rules of the road so that our financial market rewards drive and innovation and punishes shortcuts and abuse.

The recovery plan and the financial stability plan are the immediate steps we're taking to revive our economy in the short term, but the only way to fully restore America's economic strength is to make the long-term investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a renewed ability to compete with the rest of the world.

The only way this century will be another American century is if we confront at last the price of our dependence on oil and the high cost of health care, the schools that aren't preparing our children and the mountain of debt they stand to inherit. That is our responsibility.

In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often, we've come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or a laundry list of programs.

I see this document differently. I see it as a vision for America, as a blueprint for our future.

My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every issue. It reflects the stark reality of what we've inherited: a trillion-dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession.

Given these realities, everyone in this chamber -- Democrats and Republicans -- will have to sacrifice some worthy priorities for which there are no dollars, and that includes me.

But that does not mean we can afford to ignore our long-term challenges.

I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care of themselves, that says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity, for history tells a different story.

History reminds us that, at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas.

In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry.

From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age.

In the wake of war and depression, the G.I. Bill sent a generation to college and created the largest middle-class in history.


(APPLAUSE)

And a twilight struggle for freedom led to a nation of highways, an American on the moon, and an explosion of technology that still shapes our world.

In each case, government didn't supplant private enterprise; it catalyzed private enterprise. It created the conditions for thousands of entrepreneurs and new businesses to adapt and to thrive.

We are a nation that has seen promise amid peril and claimed opportunity from ordeal. Now we must be that nation again.

That is why, even as it cuts back on programs we don't need, the budget I submit will invest in the three areas that are absolutely critical to our economic future: energy, health care, and education.

(APPLAUSE)

It begins with energy.

We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient. We invented solar technology, but we've fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in Korea.

Well, I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders, and I know you don't, either. It is time for America to lead again.

(APPLAUSE)

Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years. We've also made the largest investment in basic research funding in American history, an investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in medicine, in science and technology.

We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country. And we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.

But to truly transform our economy, to protect our security and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy.

So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. That's what we need.

(APPLAUSE)

And to support -- to support that innovation, we will invest $15 billion a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power (OTCBB:SOPW) , advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more efficient cars and trucks built right here in America.

(APPLAUSE)

Speaking of our auto industry, everyone recognizes that years of bad decision-making and a global recession have pushed our automakers to the brink. We should not and will not protect them from their own bad practices.

But we are committed to the goal of a re-tooled, re-imagined auto industry that can compete and win. Millions of jobs depend on it; scores of communities depend on it; and I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, none of this will come without cost, nor will it be easy. But this is America. We don't do what's easy. We do what's necessary to move this country forward.

And for that same reason, we must also address the crushing cost of health care.

This is a cost that now causes a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes. In the last eight years, premiums have grown four times faster than wages. And in each of these years, 1 million more Americans have lost their health insurance.

It is one of the major reasons why small businesses close their doors and corporations ship jobs overseas. And it is one of the largest and fastest-growing parts of our budget. Given these facts, we can no longer afford to put health care reform on hold. We can't afford to do it.

(APPLAUSE)

It's time.

(APPLAUSE)

Already, we've done more to advance the cause of health care reform in the last 30 days than we've done in the last decade. When it was days old, this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for 11 million American children whose parents work full-time.

(APPLAUSE)

Our recovery plan will invest in electronic health records and new technology that will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy, and save lives.

It will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the life of nearly every American, including me, by seeking a cure for cancer in our time.


(APPLAUSE)

And -- and it makes the largest investment ever in preventive care, because that's one of the best ways to keep our people healthy and our costs under control.

This budget builds on these reforms. It includes a historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform, a down payment on the principle that we must have quality, affordable health care for every American. It's a commitment...

(APPLAUSE)

It's a commitment that's paid for in part by efficiencies in our system that are long overdue, and it's a step we must take if we hope to bring down our deficit in the years to come.

Now, there will be many different opinions and ideas about how to achieve reform. That's why I'm bringing together businesses and workers, doctors and health care providers, Democrats and Republicans to begin work on this issue next week.

I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. Once again, it will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and our conscience long enough.

So let there be no doubt: Health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.

(APPLAUSE)

The third challenge we must address is the urgent need to expand the promise of education in America.

In a global economy, where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity. It is a pre-requisite.

Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma, and yet just over half of our citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation, and half of the students who begin college never finish.

This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow. That is why it will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has access to a complete and competitive education, from the day they are born to the day they begin a career. That is a promise we have to make to the children of America.

(APPLAUSE)

Already, we've made a historic investment in education through the economic recovery plan. We've dramatically expanded early childhood education and will continue to improve its quality, because we know that the most formative learning comes in those first years of life.

We've made college affordable for nearly 7 million more students, 7 million...

(APPLAUSE)

... and we have provided the resources necessary to prevent painful cuts and teacher layoffs that would set back our children's progress.

But we know that our schools don't just need more resources; they need more reform. And that is why...

(APPLAUSE)

That is why this budget creates new teachers -- new incentives for teacher performance, pathways for advancement, and rewards for success. We'll invest -- we'll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will expand our commitment to charter schools. It is...

(APPLAUSE)

It is our responsibility as lawmakers and as educators to make this system work, but it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it.

So tonight I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be a community college or a four-year school, vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.

And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It's not just quitting on yourself; it's quitting on your country. And this country needs and values the talents of every American.

(APPLAUSE)

That's why -- that's why we will support -- we will provide the support necessary for all young Americans to complete college and meet a new goal: By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. That is a goal we can meet.

(APPLAUSE)

That's a goal we can meet.

(APPLAUSE)

Now -- now, I know that the price of tuition is higher than ever, which is why, if you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood or give back to your community or serve your country, we will make sure that you can afford a higher education. And to encourage...

(APPLAUSE)

And to encourage a renewed spirit of national service for this and future generations, I ask Congress to send me the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Senator Orrin Hatch, as well as an American who has never stopped asking what he can do for his country, Senator Edward Kennedy.

(APPLAUSE)

These education policies will open the doors of opportunity for our children, but it is up to us to ensure they walk through them.

In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a parent, for a mother or father who will attend those parent-teacher conferences, or help with homework, or turn off the TV, put away the video games, read to their child.


(APPLAUSE)

I speak to you not just as a president, but as a father when I say that responsibility for our children's education must begin at home. That is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. That's an American issue.

(APPLAUSE)

And there is, of course, another responsibility we have to our children, and that's the responsibility to ensure that we do not pass on to them a debt they cannot pay. That is critical.

(APPLAUSE)

I agree, absolutely.

(APPLAUSE)

See, I know we can get some consensus in here.

(LAUGHTER)

With the deficit we inherited, the cost...

(APPLAUSE)

... the cost of the crisis we face, and the long-term challenges we must meet, it has never been more important to ensure that, as our economy recovers, we do what it takes to bring this deficit down. That is critical.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I'm proud that we passed a recovery plan free of earmarks, and I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities.

And yesterday, I -- I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs.

As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time, but we have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade. In this budget...

(APPLAUSE)

In this budget, we will end education programs that don't work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them. We'll eliminate...

(APPLAUSE)

We'll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq...

(APPLAUSE)

... and -- and reform...

(APPLAUSE)

... and -- and reform our defense budget so that we're not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don't use. We will...

(APPLAUSE)

We will root out -- we will root out the waste and fraud and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn't make our seniors any healthier. We will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.

(APPLAUSE)

In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, let me be clear. Let me be absolutely clear, because I know you'll end up hearing some of the same claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people. If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, a quarter million dollars a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.

(APPLAUSE)

In fact -- not a dime.

In fact -- in fact, the recovery plan provides a tax cut -- that's right, a tax cut -- for 95 percent of working families. And, by the way, these checks are on the way.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, to preserve our long-term fiscal health, we must also address the growing cost in Medicare and Social Security. Comprehensive health care reform is the best way to strengthen Medicare for years to come, and we must also begin a conversation on how to do the same for Social Security, while creating tax-free universal savings accounts for all Americans.

(APPLAUSE)

Finally, because we're also suffering from a deficit of trust, I am committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget. That is why this budget looks ahead 10 years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules and, for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(APPLAUSE)

For seven years, we've been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.

(APPLAUSE)

Along with our outstanding national security team, I am now carefully reviewing our policies in both wars, and I will soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war.

(APPLAUSE)

And with our friends and allies, we will forge a new and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat Al Qaida and combat extremism, because I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens halfway around the world. We will not allow it.

(APPLAUSE)


As we meet here tonight, our men and women in uniform stand watch abroad and more are readying to deploy. To each and every one of them, and to the families who bear the quiet burden of their absence, Americans are united in sending one message: We honor your service; we are inspired by your sacrifice; and you have our unyielding support.

(APPLAUSE)

To relieve the strain on our forces, my budget increases the number of our soldiers and Marines. And to keep our sacred trust with those who serve, we will raise their pay and give our veterans the expanded health care and benefits that they have earned.

(APPLAUSE)

To overcome extremism, we must also be vigilant in upholding the values our troops defend, because there is no force in the world more powerful than the example of America. And that is why I have ordered the closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and will seek swift and certain justice for captured terrorists...

(APPLAUSE)

... because living our values doesn't make us weaker. It makes us safer, and it makes us stronger.

And that is why I can stand here tonight and say without exception or equivocation that the United States of America does not torture. We can make that commitment here tonight.

(APPLAUSE)

In words and deeds, we are showing the world that a new era of engagement has begun, for we know that America cannot meet the threats of this century alone, but the world cannot meet them without America.

We cannot shun the negotiating table nor ignore the foes or forces that could do us harm. We are instead called to move forward with the sense of confidence and candor that serious times demand.

To seek progress towards a secure and lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors, we have appointed an envoy to sustain our effort. To meet the challenges of the 21st century -- from terrorism to nuclear proliferation, from pandemic disease to cyber threats to crushing poverty -- we will strengthen old alliances, forge new ones, and use all elements of our national power.

And to respond to an economic crisis that is global in scope, we are working with the nations of the G-20 to restore confidence in our financial system, avoid the possibility of escalating protectionism, and spur demand for American goods in markets across the globe, for the world depends on us having a strong economy, just as our economy depends on the strength of the world's.

As we stand at this crossroads of history, the eyes of all people in all nations are once again upon us, watching to see what we do with this moment, waiting for us to lead.

Those of us gathered here tonight have been called to govern in extraordinary times. It is a tremendous burden, but also a great privilege, one that has been entrusted to few generations of Americans, for in our hands lies the ability to shape our world, for good or for ill.

I know that it's easy to lose sight of this truth, to become cynical and doubtful, consumed with the petty and the trivial.

But in my life, I have also learned that hope is found in unlikely places, that inspiration often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of ordinary Americans who are anything but ordinary.

I think of Leonard Abess, a bank president from Miami who reportedly cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus, and gave it out to all 399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who used to work for him. He didn't tell anyone, but when the local newspaper found out, he simply said, "I knew some of these people since I was 7 years old. I didn't feel right getting the money myself."

I think about...

(APPLAUSE)

I think about -- I think about Greensburg -- Greensburg, Kansas, a town that was completely destroyed by a tornado, but is being rebuilt by its residents as a global example of how clean energy can power an entire community, how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and rubble once lay.

"The tragedy was terrible," said one of the men who helped them rebuild. "But the folks here know that it also provided an incredible opportunity."

I think about Ty'Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school I visited in Dillon, South Carolina, a place where the ceilings leak, the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day because the train barrels by their classroom.

She had been told that her school is hopeless. But the other day after class, she went to the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this chamber. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp.

The letter asks us for help and says, "We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself, and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina, but also the world. We are not quitters."

That's what she said: "We are not quitters." These words...


(APPLAUSE)

These words and these stories tell us something about the spirit of the people who sent us here. They tell us that, even in the most trying times, amid the most difficult circumstances, there is a generosity, a resilience, a decency, and a determination that perseveres, a willingness to take responsibility for our future and for posterity.

Their resolve must be our inspiration. Their concerns must be our cause. And we must show them and all our people that we are equal to the task before us.

I know...

(APPLAUSE)

I know that we haven't agreed on every issue thus far.

(LAUGHTER)

There are surely times in the future where we will part ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed.

(APPLAUSE)

I know that.

(APPLAUSE)

That must be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months and where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build common ground.

And if we do, if we come together and lift this nation from the depths of this crisis, if we put our people back to work and restart the engine of our prosperity, if we confront without fear the challenges of our time and summon that enduring spirit of an America that does not quit, then some day, years from now, our children can tell their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very chamber, "something worthy to be remembered."

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Transcript of Gov. Jindal's GOP response to Obama speech

Transcript of Gov. Jindal's GOP response to Obama speech

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal:

Tonight, we witnessed a great moment in the history of our Republic. In the very chamber where Congress once voted to abolish slavery, our first African-American president stepped forward to address the state of our union. With his speech tonight, the president completed a redemptive journey that took our nation from Independence Hall to Gettysburg to the lunch counter and now, finally, the Oval Office.

Regardless of party, all Americans are moved by the president's personal story -- the son of an American mother and a Kenyan father, who grew up to become leader of the free world. Like the president's father, my own parents came to this country from a distant land. When they arrived in Baton Rouge, my mother was already 4-½-months pregnant. I was what folks in the insurance industry now call a "pre-existing condition." To find work, my dad picked up the yellow pages and started calling local businesses. Even after landing a job, he could still not afford to pay for my delivery, so he worked out an installment plan with the doctor. Fortunately for me, he never missed a payment.

As I grew up, my mom and dad taught me the values that attracted them to this country, and they instilled in me an immigrant's wonder at the greatness of America. As a child, I remember going to the grocery store with my dad. Growing up in India, he had seen extreme poverty. And as we walked through the aisles, looking at the endless variety on the shelves, he would tell me: "Bobby, Americans can do anything." I still believe that to this day: Americans can do anything. When we pull together, there is no challenge we can't overcome.

As the president made clear this evening, we are now in a time of challenge. Many of you listening tonight have lost jobs. Others have seen your college and retirement savings dwindle. Many of you are worried about losing your health care and your homes. And you are looking to your elected leaders in Washington for solutions.

Republicans are ready to work with the new president to provide those solutions. Here in my state of Louisiana, we don't care what party you belong to, if you have good ideas to make life better for our people. We need more of that attitude from both Democrats and Republicans in our nation's capital. All of us want our economy to recover and our nation to prosper. So where we agree, Republicans must be the president's strongest partners. And where we disagree, Republicans have a responsibility to be candid and offer better ideas for a path forward.

Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us.

Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina -- we have our doubts.

Let me tell you a story.

During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walked into his makeshift office, I'd never seen him so angry. He was yelling into the phone: "Well, I'm the Sheriff and if you don't like it you can come and arrest me!" I asked him: "Sheriff, what's got you so mad?" He told me that he had put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up ready to go, when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn't go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, "Sheriff, that's ridiculous." And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: "Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!" Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and go start rescuing people.

There is a lesson in this experience: The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and the enterprising spirit of our citizens. We are grateful for the support we have received from across the nation for the ongoing recovery efforts. This spirit got Louisiana through the hurricanes and this spirit will get our nation through the storms we face today.

To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and not to just put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you, the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything.

That is why Republicans put forward plans to create jobs by lowering income tax rates for working families, cutting taxes for small businesses, strengthening incentives for businesses to invest in new equipment and hire new workers, and stabilizing home values by creating a new tax credit for home-buyers. These plans would cost less and create more jobs.

But Democratic leaders in Congress -- they rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history, with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest. While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a "magnetic levitation" line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called "volcano monitoring." Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.

Democratic leaders say their legislation will grow the economy. What it will do is grow the government, increase our taxes down the line, and saddle future generations with debt. Who among us would ask our children for a loan, so we could spend money we do not have, on things we do not need? That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did. It's irresponsible. And it's no way to strengthen our economy, create jobs, or build a prosperous future for our children.

In Louisiana, we took a different approach. Since I became governor, we cut more than 250 earmarks from our state budget. To create jobs for our citizens, we cut taxes six times -- including the largest income tax cut in the history of our state. We passed those tax cuts with bipartisan majorities. Republicans and Democrats put aside their differences -- we worked together to make sure our people could keep more of what they earn. If it can be done in Baton Rouge, surely it can be done in Washington, D.C.

To strengthen our economy, we need urgent action to keep energy prices down. All of us remember what it felt like to pay $4 at the pump and unless we act now, those prices will return. To stop that from happening, we need to increase conservation, increase energy efficiency, increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels, increase our use of nuclear power, and increase drilling for oil and gas here at home. We believe that Americans can do anything and if we unleash the innovative spirit of our citizens, we can achieve energy independence.

To strengthen our economy, we also need to address the crisis in health care. Republicans believe in a simple principle: No American should have to worry about losing their health coverage -- period. We stand for universal access to affordable health care coverage. What we oppose is universal government-run health care. Health care decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not by government bureaucrats. We believe Americans can do anything, and if we put aside partisan politics and work together, we can make our system of private medicine affordable and accessible for every one of our citizens.

To strengthen our economy, we also need to make sure every child in America gets the best possible education. After Katrina, we reinvented the New Orleans school system, opening dozens of new charter schools, and creating a new scholarship program that is giving parents the chance to send their children to private or parochial schools of their choice. We believe that, with the proper education, the children of America can do anything. And it shouldn't take a devastating storm to bring this kind of innovation to education in our country.

To strengthen our economy, we must promote confidence in America by ensuring ours is the most ethical and transparent system in the world. In my home state, there used to be saying: At any given time, half of Louisiana was said to be half under water, and the other half is under indictment. No one says that anymore. Last year, we passed some of the strongest ethics laws in the nation and today, Louisiana has turned her back on the corruption of the past. We need to bring transparency to Washington, D.C., so we can rid our Capitol of corruption and ensure we never see the passage of another trillion dollar spending bill that Congress has not even read and the American people haven't even seen.

As we take these steps, we must remember for all our troubles at home, dangerous enemies still seek our destruction. Now is no time to dismantle the defenses that have protected this country for hundreds of years, or make deep cuts in funding for our troops. America's fighting men and women can do anything. If we give them the resources they need, they will stay on the offensive, defeat our enemies, and protect us from harm.

In all these areas, Republicans want to work with President Obama. We appreciate his message of hope, but sometimes it seems we look for hope in different places. Democratic leaders in Washington -- they place their hope in the federal government. We place our hope in you, the American people. In the end, it comes down to an honest and fundamental disagreement about the proper role of government. We oppose the National Democratic view that says the way to strengthen our country is to increase dependence on government. We believe the way to strengthen our country is to restrain spending in Washington, to empower individuals and small businesses to grow our economy and to create jobs.

In recent years, these distinctions in philosophy became less clear -- our party got away from its principles. You elected Republicans to champion limited government, fiscal discipline and personal responsibility. Instead, Republicans went along with earmarks and big government spending in Washington. Republicans lost your trust -- and rightly so.

Tonight, on behalf of our leaders in Congress and my fellow Republican governors, I say this: Our party is determined to regain your trust. We will do so by standing up for the principles that we share, the principles you elected us to fight for, the principles that built this into the greatest, most prosperous country on earth.

You know, a few weeks ago, the president warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said "we may not be able to reverse." Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don't let anyone tell you that we cannot recover. Don't let anyone tell you that America's best days are behind her. This is the nation that cast off the scourge of slavery, overcame the Great Depression, prevailed in two World Wars, won the struggle for civil rights, defeated the Soviet menace, and responded with determined courage to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The American spirit has triumphed over almost every form of adversity known to man, and the American spirit will triumph again.

We can have confidence in our future, because, amid all of today's challenges, we also count many blessings: We have the most innovative citizens, the most abundant resources, the most resilient economy, the most powerful military, and the freest political system in the history of the world. My fellow citizens, never forget: We are Americans. And like my dad said years ago, Americans can do anything.

Thank you for listening. God bless you. God bless Louisiana. And God bless America.

Analysis of Obama's Address to Congress

Untruths, exaggerations, and mindless applauds. Good Show though

Hey folks,

I was just going to post Obama's Address to Congress and Bobby Jindal's response and leave it at that. But I actually watched it last night, and I have to comment.

What you do not see in the Transcript?

First, it took Obama forever to get to the podium. He was taking it all in, soaking it up. Now I know this is no big deal. Any first time president, let alone the First African American President would want to do the same.

Then, he was the first to speak. "Madam Speaker?" Nancey Pelosi then just gushed the words out about how it was her honor and privilege to introduce the President of the United States while Obama stood there with a big smile and a Bold looking face facing upwards, as if he was hearing a theme song or something to that effect, while thunderous applauds rang out.

I got this feeling like, the King has spoken, let the peasants rejoice. Then he began his address. By the way, did it seem to you as if Nance Pelosi had a shock seat? I'm not kidding. Obama would say something and Nancey Pelsoi would LEAP to her feet as if someone just socked her buttocks. She was "Nance in the box." Obama was speaking and it was like Ding, da, ding, da din a lin Pop goes the Nancey.

Anyway, he would speak and the crowd would applaud loudly. However, he did receive one round of moans and groans that was NOT in the transcript. He did. Watch the video. There are about a hundred plus versions out there. He said this.

OBAMA: "Now, I'm proud that we passed a recovery plan free of earmarks, and I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities."

At about this point, "Now, I'm proud that we passed a recovery plan free of earmarks," you will hear the moans and boos. Because that is a completely BS statement. Even the AP- Fact Check left this alone because it is so absolutely bogus. But they did do a pretty good job. One of the biggest, next to that, complete untruths was this. AP - FACT CHECK: Obama's words on home aid ring hollow

OBAMA: "We have launched a housing plan that will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and refinance their mortgages. It's a plan that won't help speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling with declining home values."

THE FACTS: If the administration has come up with a way to ensure money only goes to those who got in honest trouble, it hasn't said so.

Defending the program Tuesday at a Senate hearing, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said it's important to save those who made bad calls, for the greater good. He likened it to calling the fire department to put out a blaze caused by someone smoking in bed.

"I think the smart way to deal with a situation like that is to put out the fire, save him from his own consequences of his own action but then, going forward, enact penalties and set tougher rules about smoking in bed."

Similarly, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. suggested this month it's not likely aid will be denied to all homeowners who overstated their income or assets to get a mortgage they couldn't afford.

"I think it's just simply impractical to try to do a forensic analysis of each and every one of these delinquent loans," Sheila Bair told National Public Radio.

Now I will give him credit on this one. I doubt it. But it IS possible to have a balanced budget by using this method.

Obama: "My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs.

As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time, but we have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade. In this budget..."


He is correct here. IF Big IF, the Federal Government DID cut out 23 of the 24 carbon copy programs that all do the same thing, eliminate programs that fail, and cut back on bogus pet projects that do nothing but line the pocket of friends and families of those in Congress, we WOULD have more money than we would know what to do with. I'm not joking. He would be able to fund EVERYTHING that he is talking about and STILL have a surplus. However, all he can do is make recommendations and call out those programs in an attempt to shame Congress into cutting them. THEY are in charge of spending, and I really do NOT see them giving much up.

I could spend all day pointing out the Socialistic quests, the fact he talked AGAIN about cutting the military and ending Star Wars. I could spend all day pointing out even more untruths he told. Then I could spend another big chunk of the day defending Jindal's response. But I posted them here for YOU to read, and judge for yourselves. "Echoing Roosevelt and Reagan?" I think not. Jindal's response is one I agree with. It could be summed up like this. Obama talked about the Spirit of Americans and their ability to do anything. Great! Let them. Get out of the way and let them do it.

It all ended with MOBS of people trying to touch him, and get his autograph. The Big Show is over President Obama, now it's time to go to work.
Peter

Sources:
OPNTalk - President Obama’s Address to Congress
OPNTalk -
Transcript of Gov. Jindal's GOP response to Obama speech
AP -
FACT CHECK: Obama's words on home aid ring hollow

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

People Praising The Stupidity of Obama, The Left Completely Out of Control

Well, the brilliance of Obama playing on their stupidity.

Hey folks,

Yesterday, lead by the drum beat of the Mainstream Media, people were actually Praising Obama for being brilliant. They said he was honest. That he was doing the right thing. They said he has set in motion mechanisms to insure that there is no funny business with the Trillions that he is throwing around. {Sigh}

"I applaud Mr. Obama for his concern about corruption. This is a move that will benefit the whole of America."

"If George Bush did something like this, we would not be in this mess."

"It's about time. Why not do this sort of thing Government wide?"

"Obama is brilliant."

Just some comments I have seen in reference to President Barack Obama pick of Earl Devaney as chairman of the new Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board to oversee the $787 billion economic stimulus plan. "Honesty," "integrity," "transparency," so on. Problem is, none of that is true. Obama pledges to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. That is impossible. Unless YOU pay for it.

What he said in essence is that he was going to rob as many people as he could, until this certain date, then, AFTER he robs everyone, he is going to make sure that no one robs you again. This is completely stupid. Just down right, flat out stupid. Yet People are LOVING this.

"If we confront this crisis without also confronting the deficits that helped cause it, we risk sinking into another crisis down the road," the president warned, promising to cut the yearly deficit in half by the end of his four-year term. "We cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences."

What in the Blue Hell have you been doing for the past thirty days? He announced the return of "pay as you go." Maybe he should have thought of THAT little gem before throwing a Trillion dollars away? That will NOT help stimulate the economy? With more than another Trillion on it's way? This Headline, REALLY tells you all you need to know. AP - Obama pledges to slash deficit — after increase

Meanwhile, over in Lib Land, AP - House Democrats propose $410B spending bill

WASHINGTON – House Democrats unveiled a $410 billion spending bill on Monday to keep the government running through the end of the fiscal year, setting up the second political struggle over federal funds in less than a month with Republicans.

The measure includes thousands of earmarks, the pet projects favored by lawmakers but often criticized by the public in opinion polls. There was no official total of the bill's earmarks, which accounted for at least $3.8 billion.

The WHOLE FIRST TRILLION WAS EARMARKS! Didn't Obama say no more pork? {Laughing}

The legislation, which includes an increase of roughly 8 percent over spending in the last fiscal year, is expected to clear the House later in the week.

Of course.

Democrats defended the spending increases, saying they were needed to make up for cuts enacted in recent years or proposed a year ago by then-President George W. Bush in health, education, energy and other programs.

One hundred percent Bull. What about the TRILLION Dollars? All this pork was already in there. Now they are going to spend $410 billion MORE? Pay as you go? WHO?

Republicans countered that the spending in the bill far outpaced inflation, and amounted to much higher increases when combined with spending in the stimulus legislation that President Barack Obama signed last week. In a letter to top Democratic leaders, the GOP leadership called for a spending freeze, a step they said would point toward a "new standard of fiscal discipline."

Yup. Too late. But Yup. Do the math folks. One Trillion Pork Bill passed. Now we are up to over another $275 Billion in Housing Bailouts. Another nearly Trillion Dollars coming for MORE Bank "Bailouts" and NOW the Democrats want another $410 Billion "To keep the Government running?" We could save A LOT of money if we laid off the Government. This is INSANE!

But just look at this. ALL THIS IS as well is payback to those that they think got them in power, and those that can keep them there, is MORE PORK. Seriously.

It loosens restrictions on travel to Cuba, as well as the sale of food and medicine to the communist island-nation.

They love Communists.

In another change, the legislation bans Mexican-licensed trucks from operating outside commercial zones along the border with the United States. The Teamsters Union, which supported Obama's election last year, hailed the move.

The Bush administration backed a pilot program to permit up to 500 trucks from 100 Mexican motor carriers access to U.S. roads.

The legislation covers programs for numerous Cabinet-level and other agencies, and takes the place of regular annual spending bills that did not pass last year as a result of a deadlock between the Bush administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress.

Congressional expenses are included. The bill provides $500,000 for what is described as a Senate "pilot program" that will defray the cost of mass mail postcards to households notifying them of a nearby town meeting to be attended by any senator.

Folks. This really is insane. These Idiots are completely out of control. They WILL Bankrupt this country. They WILL destroy the America you grew up in. They WILL turn this country into the new USSA. They HAVE to be stopped.

As long as there are so many ignorant people out there, drinking the Obamaid, and as long as the Mainstream Media props this guy up, covers the stupidity of the out of control Left, it will be a hard task. But if you love this country, love your freedom, if you love your sanity, it is a task we MUST partake.
Peter

Sources:
AP - Obama pledges to slash deficit — after increase
AP - House Democrats propose $410B spending bill

Monday, February 23, 2009

Global Warming Ministers on Retreat

Told you this is a Religion.

Hey folks,

Happy Monday to you. I'm still in a great mood. Even this utter nonsense isn't putting a hinder on it. This just makes me laugh even more. But look for new and more ominous warnings to come about the dire need to put more power and control over your personal lives, and of course, the necessity of taking more of your money.

Turns out that, wait a second. Do you know what a Minister is? A Minister is someone who is trained and put in charge of conducting duties of their organizations. They are to spread the word and teach others that their ways are the truth and are to be followed. They conduct ceremonies and follow Doctrine set by the leaders of these organizations. Their basic role is Teacher. The sad thing is, just like with other Man made Religions out there, the followers will believe anything. They will just blindly follow whatever they are told.

So the Global Warming Ministers, which is what they are now being called, took a sabbatical. They we to the Antarctic to attempt to come up with more Scarence {Scare Science} to use in their mission of trying to convince you that we are all going to die if we do not "Prevent" the Ice from STARTING to melt. If we "let this start." I'm not kidding folks. They actually said this.

"We are out of out cotton-pickin' minds if we let that process get started," Hansen said of an Antarctic meltdown. "Because there will be no stopping it."

That is the last line in this story. Why not make it the first? IT IS NOT MELTING. {Laughing} There is no threat. Yet, they went there to find another threat, could not find it, so they are saying we have to prevent it. {sigh}

According to the AP - Ministers get close look at Antarctic ice threat Again, the highlighted in Red is by me.

TROLL RESEARCH STATION, Antarctica – A parka-clad band of environment ministers landed in this remote corner of the icy continent on Monday, in the final days of an intense season of climate research, to learn more about how a melting Antarctica may endanger the planet.

Representatives from more than a dozen nations, including the U.S., China, Britain and Russia, were to rendezvous at a Norwegian research station with American and Norwegian scientists coming in on the last leg of a 1,400-mile (2,300-kilometer), two-month trek over the ice from the South Pole.

The visitors will gain "hands-on experience of the colossal magnitude of the Antarctic continent and its role in global climate change," said the mission's organizer, Norway's Environment Ministry.

They'll also learn about the great uncertainties plaguing research into this southernmost continent and its link to global warming: How much is Antarctica warming? How much ice is melting into the sea? How high might it raise ocean levels worldwide?


Truth is, they have no idea. Or do they?

The answers are so elusive that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a Nobel Prize-winning U.N. scientific network, excluded the potential threat from the polar ice sheets from calculations in its authoritative 2007 assessment of global warming.

Because there is NO THREAT. But due to economic down turns world wide, people want more proof that this is a real threat. They want PROOF that there is a REAL REASON to waste money they do not have. There is no PROOF. Facts say that we have not warmed since about 98. That we are actually in a cooling cycle. So they need a new threat. They need this to sound even more dire.

The IPCC forecast that oceans may rise up to 23 inches (0.59 meters) this century, from heat expansion and melting land ice, {Which is not melting} if the world does little to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed {Not proven}for atmospheric warming.

But the U.N. panel did not take Antarctica and Greenland into account, since the interactions of atmosphere and ocean with their enormous stores of ice — Antarctica has 90 percent of the world's ice — are poorly understood. And yet the West Antarctic ice sheet, some of whose outlet glaciers are pouring ice at a faster rate into the sea, "could be the most dangerous tipping point this century," says a leading U.S. climatologist, NASA's James Hansen.


But we do not know how long some of this has been going on. It may ACTUALLY be normal. We just never saw it before. We have nothing to compare it to.

"There is the potential for several-meter rise of sea level," Hansen told The Associated Press last week. The scenario is "frightening," says the IPCC's chief scientist, Rajendra Pachauri, who met with the ministers in Cape Town before their nine-hour flight here from South Africa.

Not really. We have no idea. If there was PROOF of this, the IPCC would have included it. Even if it was not true, but appeared to be a possibility, they would have included it. But they did not even find enough evidence that could lead one to believe it to even be a possibility, so they left it out.

Finding the answers has been key to the 2007-2009 International Polar Year (IPY), a mobilization of 10,000 scientists and 40,000 others from more than 60 countries engaged in intense Arctic and Antarctic research over the past two southern summer seasons — on the ice, at sea, via icebreaker, submarine and surveillance satellite.

Why go there in the Summer? Oh yeah, Summer is warmer than Winter and ice melts in warmth. Imagine that?

The 12-member Norwegian-American Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica — the trekkers "coming home" to Troll — was one important part of that work, having drilled deep cores into the annual layers of ice sheet in this little-explored region, to determine how much snow has fallen historically and its composition.

Such work will be combined with another IPY project, an all-out effort to map by satellite radar the "velocity fields" of all Antarctic ice sheets over the past two summers, to assess how fast ice is being pushed into the surrounding sea.


Sounds impressive doesn't it? But they are only looking at the last two Summers? Cycles take years. Not two. But you know, whatever works to further their agendas.

Then scientists may understand better the "mass balance" — how much the snow, originating with ocean evaporation, is offsetting the ice pouring seaward.

"We're not sure what the East Antarctic ice sheet is doing," David Carlson, IPY director, explained last week from the program's offices in Cambridge, England. "It looks like it is flowing a little faster. So is that matched by accumulation? What they come back with will be crucial to understanding the process."

"We're not sure what the East Antarctic ice sheet is doing,"
EXACTLY! However, what they will do is put into the already skewed computer models, what they think could happen, and then ask the computers, "What If" to get the information they WANT to get to further the Scam Of Global Warming.

The visiting environment ministers were those of Algeria, Britain, Congo, the Czech Republic, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Other countries were represented by climate policymakers and negotiators, including Xie Zhenhua of China and Dan Reifsnyder, a deputy assistant U.S. secretary of state.

You see, you see? This is a World wide Problem. This is not an Al Gore Scam. This is real. We have to do something NOW!! The Sky is falling! The sky is falling!! Greed and the quest for power is universal folks.

During their long day here under the 17-hour sunlight of a dying southern summer, when temperatures still drop to near zero Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius), the northern visitors took in the awesome sights of Queen Maud Land, a forbidding, mountainous icescape 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers) southwest of South Africa, and toured the Norwegians' high-tech Troll Research Station, upgraded to year-round operations in 2005.

THIS IS ONE MAIN PROBLEM! Read this next part carefully. UNDERSTAND it.

The politics of climate inevitably mixed with the science. Stranded in Cape Town an extra two days when high Antarctic winds scrubbed a planned weekend flight, the ministers were gently lobbied at lunch and dinner by Scandinavian counterparts favoring urgent action on a new global agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, the deal to reduce greenhouse gases that expires in 2012.

President Barack Obama's new U.S. administration has promised action after years of U.S. resistance to the Kyoto process. But the complexity of issues and limited time before a Copenhagen conference in December, target date for a deal, makes the outcome as uncertain as the future of Antarctica's glaciers and offshore ice shelves.

Much more research lies ahead, say the scientists, including investigations of the possible warming and shifting currents of the Southern Ocean ringing Antarctica. "We need to put more resources in," said IPY's Carlson.

We need more money!

Outspoken scientists say political action may be even more urgently needed.

"We are out of out cotton-pickin' minds if we let that process get started," Hansen said of an Antarctic meltdown. "Because there will be no stopping it."


So again, they just admit it. "We are out of out cotton-pickin' minds if we let that process get started," So it is NOT a threat? If we COULD prevent the process from getting started, would this not suggest that it has not already begun? If it has not already begun, then how do you PROVE that we stopped it. Kind of like Obama saying he will SAVE three million jobs. There is no way to prove that. Are you still working because he saved your job? Maybe. He will take credit of it.

This is what these Chicken Little Ministers are trying to do now. "Give us more money, allow us the power to control peoples Private Lives," and when nothing happens. "See, we prevented it. We saved the planet."

Do not let these people scare you folks. There is NO THREAT. Nothing is happening. They KNOW this, and just admitted it. Yet, we better prevent it. They just said so.
Peter

Sources:
AP - Ministers get close look at Antarctic ice threat