State of the Union: Time to Change Course
(Washington, D.C.) – This evening President Obama delivered his fifth annual State of the Union Address, in the face of polls showing that Americans are deeply anxious about the future. Nearly 70 percent say the country is either stagnant or worse off than when President Obama was first elected. They use words like "divided," "troubled," and "deteriorating" to describe the state of the country. The President acknowledged that his policies to this point have not solved problems – saying that in the last few years "average wages have barely budged" and "too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by." He said it was time to "reverse these tides."
But while he called for a new course, the President offered more of the same policies. He announced several limited actions to be taken without consulting Congress, and repeated proposals that have been rejected before. He announced a minimum wage increase for a small number of employees of federal contractors, but the broader increase that the President called for would create a higher hurdle for everyone struggling to find a job. Studies have consistently shown that increasing the minimum wage results in a loss of low-wage jobs, harming the very workers it is intended to help – a point recently made by Bill Gates. According to one study, evidence for job losses due to minimum wage increases has been available for decades.
The President also proposed new regulations and a tax increase on American entrepreneurs and businesses. These moves would likely further harm job creation, particularly coming on top of the payroll tax increase enacted last year and the $140 billion in tax penalties businesses are estimated to pay under Obamacare.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:
"After five years of this Administration, the American people are deeply disappointed with the direction of the country and they want change. Another speech, more partisan bickering, a lack of commitment to bipartisan priorities such as immigration reform, and more of the same unworkable spending proposals won't change their view; it will only make things worse.
The American people are crying out for leadership from Washington. They know that tax increases and unilateral orders from the President won't get the economy moving again. It is time for a comprehensive job creation agenda – not more band-aids. The President is the only person elected by the people to lead the entire nation. They expect him to work with Congress on bipartisan solutions. That simply isn't happening, and there's no sign of a change in course."
For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Judy Pino, 202-578-6424 or Brian Faughnan, 571-257-3309.