In the News
Feb 14 2013
Conventional political wisdom suggests President Barack Obama and Rep. Tom Rice, R-SC, don’t agree on much; however, the new South Carolina Republican Congressman said he’s been interested in some of what the president has said on jobs and the economy in the past.
The only problem, Rice said, is the commander-in-chief’s actions often don’t match his rhetoric.
From cutting the deficit, reducing healthcare costs, unwinding government regulations on businesses, and energy policy, Rice said the president Obama hasn’t lived up to promises made in past State of the Union addresses and remains skeptical this year will be any different.
“I wish that he wouldn’t just talk about those things,” Rice said. “I wish he would take some action.”
It’s a message being pushed by Rice and other House Republicans in the hours before the president journeys to the Hill for his annual address to both houses of Congress.
A video produced by the U.S. House Republican Conference – featured on Rice’s Facebook page (http://bit.ly/WHpdyL) – highlights claims made by the president in his four previous State of the Union speeches and points to four areas where the president failed to live up to his promises in the eyes of the opposition.
In 2009, Obama pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, then to reduce healthcare costs in 2010, end unnecessary regulation of businesses in 2011, and providing a well rounded energy policy last year.
Each statement was followed by news headlines documenting how the president failed to live up to each promise, pointing to stories in the media on the ever rising deficit, increasing healthcare costs, sluggish business climate and the rejection of the Keystone pipeline.
As a CPA and tax attorney, Rice’s main criticisms of the president centered on the economy, particularly dealing with reducing regulation. Multiple Obama aides have been reported by national media as saying the economy will be a key part of Tuesday’s address.
But, for Rice, talk is cheap.
“He said we needed to cut through the government regulation that drags progress down and hinders our business,” Rice said. “He said all that, but he didn’t’ do any of it. In fact, he did the opposite. I’m sure he’ll get and say the same thing again, but there s a big difference between making a speech and performing what you say.”
Some recent economic indicators instilled confidence. A month ago, the U.S. Department of Labor reported unemployment ticked up to 7.9 percent and the deficit is approaching $16.5 trillion.
This article was authored by John Sweeney and originally appeared in The Morning News on February 12, 2013.