Ohio University Economist Richard Vedder, Ph.D.:
"I think President Obama was correct today when he said, 'We have two competing visions of our future.' But the message he presented at Lorain Community College, completely ignores the reality of the past three years. We are having our slowest economic recovery from a downturn since the Great Depression and here in Ohio in a typical month in the presidency of George W. Bush, the unemployment rate was less than 6%. In the first 37 months of the Obama presidency, Ohio's unemployment has varied between 7.6% and 10.6%. Even the modest recent Ohio recovery is as of much a consequence of the new pro-growth policy at the state level, implemented by the Kasich Administration, than by anything the federal government has done.
"The slow recovery reflects the fact that investors, entrepreneurs, consumers are all scared and uncertain. ObamaCare both angers and scares them because the potentially rapidly rising health care costs and reduces individual choice. The Stimulus package did nothing to help recovery but has added to extremely worrisome long-term fiscal problem of excessive debt...
"[The Buffett Rule] would raise little or no money but would contribute to the decline in a long-term economic growth because of its profound dissentive effects on savings and investment and thereby threatening our prosperity and above all the welfare of our children and grandchildren. So I think that the president's remarks offer no hint that he wants solutions that would restore us to our growth oriented entrepreneurial culture..."
Former Director of the Congressional Budget Office Doug Holtz-Eakin:
"This economic recovery has been so slow and substandard. We are no longer in a position where the problem is an economic downturn, it's that the rate of economic growth is utterly unacceptable. The president has suffered from a serious lack of focus in addressing this problem.
"A choice between redistribution and growth, he chose redistribution, has consistently offered higher taxes as a remedy for the problems that face us. In the face of bad economic performance, he's resorted to gimmicks such as the Buffett Tax, which will not produce jobs, which offers relief for only one-tenth of one cent every dollar of deficit that we have this year...
"We had hoped I think today to hear from him on something substantive on job training but he seems to go light on that and he's been all over the place on that as well, promising one large consolidated program and not making progress in getting rid of the 27 programs and indeed offering only two consolidations and instead asking just for a lot more money, $20 billion in his most recent budget...
"Finally, the House Republicans' budget does in fact, instead of exploding the debt, controls it and ultimately eliminates it, it does contain tax reforms, it does contain entitlement reforms. It is fair to debate your preferences in those things, it is not fair to complain that other people are addressing the real problems that face this economy that would allow us to grow more rapidly on a sustained basis, that would produce the jobs and the incomes that are important in Ohio and elsewhere. You can't complain when people do that when you haven't offered the same thing. I thought it really was much of the same from the president today and I had my hopes that it might be a little bit more."
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