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Paul Ryan: The Disappointment of President Obama's Broken Promises

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Uploaded on Oct 26, 2011

"Saving the American Idea: Rejecting Fear, Envy and the Politics of Division"
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan -- Heritage Foundation
Full text: http://budget.house.gov/News/Document...

To my great disappointment, it appears that the politics of division are making a big comeback. Many Americans share my disappointment -- especially those who were filled with great hope a few years ago, when then-Senator Obama announced his candidacy in Springfield, Illinois.

Do you remember what he said? He said that what's stopped us from meeting our nation's greatest challenges is "the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics -- the ease with which we're distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems."

I couldn't agree more.

And yet, nearly three years into his presidency, look at where we are now: Petty and trivial? Just last week, the President told a crowd in North Carolina that Republicans are in favor of "dirtier air, dirtier water, and less people with health insurance." Can you think of a pettier way to describe sincere disagreements between the two parties on regulation and health care? Chronic avoidance of tough decisions? The President still has not put forward a credible plan to tackle the threat of ever-rising spending and debt, and it's been over 900 days since his party passed a budget in the Senate. A preference for scoring cheap political points instead of consensus-building? This is the same President who is currently campaigning against a do-nothing Congress, when in fact, the House of Representatives has passed over a dozen bills to help get the economy moving and deal with the debt, only to see the President's party kill those bills in the do-nothing Senate.

Look, we put our cards on the table. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives advanced a far-reaching plan filled with common-sense reforms aimed at putting the budget on the path to balance and the economy on the path to prosperity.

But instead of working together where we agree, the President has opted for divisive rhetoric and the broken politics of the past. He is going from town to town, impugning the motives of Republicans, setting up straw men and scapegoats, and engaging in intellectually lazy arguments, as he tries to build support for punitive tax hikes on job creators.

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