U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed the stagnant economic growth under the Obama administration and the actions the Republican-led Senate will take to address the out-of-control spending that’s fueling our national debt. Senate Republicans intend to continue putting forth policies that will grow our economy and help lift some of the burdens faced by American families.
Remarks (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, two weeks ago, we received the initial report on economic growth in the first quarter of 2016.
“The news was not good.
“Our economy grew at a dismal rate of 0.5 percent during the first three months of 2016.
“In other words, Mr. President, the economy barely grew at all.
“And while this report was particularly terrible, the truth is, weak economic growth has become the norm under the Obama administration.
“Since the recession ended in June 2009, the economy has grown at an average rate of just 2.1 percent.
“In the typical post-1960 recovery, by contrast, economic growth averaged 3.7 percent.
“That’s a huge difference, Mr. President.
“It’s the difference between a stagnant economy and a flourishing economy.
“And for millions of American families, it’s the difference between surviving and thriving.
“Middle-class families today are making 6.5 percent less than they were making in 2007, before the start of the Great Recession.
“And a large part of the reason for that is the sluggish economic growth we’ve experienced in the Obama recovery.
“For too many families, this slow recovery has meant the end of cherished dreams.
“The dream of owning their own home.
“The dream of sending their kids to college.
“The dream of a secure retirement.
“And the kind of growth we need to escape from these economic doldrums is nowhere in sight.
“In fact, the Obama economy has led some economists to wonder if 2 percent growth is the new normal.
“Right now, the Federal Reserve is projecting that the economy will grow at a median rate of just 2.2 percent in 2016 and just 2.1 percent in 2017.
“And the St. Louis Fed expects that weak growth to continue for the next decade.
“That’s very bad news for American families, who are facing a less prosperous future with less economic opportunity and mobility.
“During the entire post-war period from 1947 to 2013, our nation averaged 3.3 percent growth.
“At that pace, Americans’ standard of living almost doubles every 30 years.
“Incomes rise, financial security increases, and more people are able to afford homes, take vacations, and save for higher education.
“At the pace of growth we have seen since 2007, on the other hand, it will take far longer for the standard of living to double.
“Fortunately, we’re not condemned to weak economic growth.
“If you look at the president’s record, it’s easy to see why our economy is still sputtering along.
“A failed trillion-dollar stimulus.
“$1.7 trillion in new taxes.
“The president’s health care law, which raised premiums for families and increased costs for small businesses.
“More than 2,700 new federal regulations, and counting.
“A federal debt that has nearly doubled on the president’s watch.
“But the president’s policies don’t have to be permanent.
“We can repeal Obamacare and the incredible burdens it’s placing on so many families and small businesses.
“We can replace the president’s tax hikes with comprehensive tax reform that focuses on lowering taxes for families and making America the best place in the world to do business.
“We can take serious action to address the spending that’s fueling our national debt.
“And we can repeal some of the thousands of burdensome regulations the president has imposed during his tenure.
“It’s easy to forget that every regulation the government imposes, no matter how small, has a cost – and those costs are paid by American families and American businesses.
“Take the national energy tax the president imposed on coal-fired power plants.
“This rule will drive up electricity bills for families, potentially by hundreds of dollars each year.
“And it will be especially harmful to low-income families and seniors living on fixed incomes.
“Or take the president’s decision to allow the EPA to regulate ponds and ditches on private land.
“This regulation will have significant economic impacts for farmers and property owners, who will likely be hit with new federal permits, compliance costs, and the threat of significant fines.
“Over the past seven-plus years, the Obama administration has imposed more than 2,700 regulations, including hundreds of major regulations – that is, a regulation that costs American families and businesses more than $100 million each year.
“Out-of-touch Washington bureaucrats reaching into our states and imposing regulatory burdens from afar has become all too common in the Obama administration.
“Repealing some of the worst of these regulations would drastically reduce the burdens facing American families and businesses.
“And that would put more money in American families’ pockets and free up American businesses to do what they do best – innovate and create jobs.
“Mr. President, if we continue on the path we’re on right now, we might be the first generation to leave the next generation worse off.
“But we don’t have to be.
“We can reverse the course the president has set during his administration and put in place the kind of policies that will grow our economy and lift the burdens on American families.
“Republicans in the Senate have already been working to undo the worst policies of the Obama administration.
“And we’re going to continue to fight until our nation’s economy is thriving and all families have the opportunity to achieve the American dream.”