Alaska Congressman Don Young released the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address: Tonight, President Obama said he received the message from the American people that jobs and the economy remain their top priority. But the common theme in his address was that government is the solution to all of our country’s problems. From energy to guns, health care to job creation, the President continues to believe that where there is a new federal program, there is a solution. But after four years of trying the same, what do we really have to show for it? Our economy remains fragile, millions remain unemployed, and 34,000 of our bravest Americans are now coming home to an economy that can’t even create enough jobs for all of our college graduates.
Now, I agree with the President that we can’t cut our way to prosperity, but we also can’t regulate our way to prosperity. As I said earlier this week, the President can create jobs tomorrow by cutting the bureaucratic red tape that has stifled America’s small businesses.
On energy, the President failed to mention projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline or development in ANWR, both of which would create thousands of jobs and dramatically improve American energy security. Instead he tried to take credit for increased American oil and gas production, which largely took place on state and private land and in spite of the federal government’s bureaucratic red tape.
Less than a month ago, during his second inaugural address, President Obama repeatedly cited the phrase “We the People,” affirming that the strength of our society is in its citizens. But from his speech tonight, he appears to have changed his tune to “We the Government.” Contrary to the President, I believe the government should step aside and let the grit and determination of the American people drive America to a long and sustained prosperity.