01.12.16

Senator David Perdue Highlights President Obama’s Failed Economic & Foreign Policies Ahead of #LastSOTU

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) today delivered a speech on the Senate floor ahead of President Obama’s last State of the Union address. 

Click on the image below or click here to watch the video. 

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Transcript:

“Tonight, President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address—a closing argument for his presidency. 

This president, who promised change, will attempt to point to his Administration’s accomplishments as many presidents have done in the past. This will prove to be difficult because Georgians and Americans have seen change, but in the wrong direction. 

When President Obama took the White House, he promised fiscal responsibility, but he is on track to more than double the national debt in his tenure. He promised to work together in a bipartisan way, but he used his Democratic supermajority in his first two years to force through Obamacare and Dodd-Frank on the American people. 

He promised to bring us together, but he has done more to divide us as a country. He promised to focus on defeating terrorism, but he created a power vacuum in the Middle East for those who wish to do us harm.  

There is no denying it. Under this president’s failed leadership, the American people have had a tough several years.

Today, more Americans have fallen into poverty under this presidency. Too many individuals and families have seen their health care premiums and their deductibles rise to points where they can no longer afford them.

Our national debt is almost $19 trillion, which is well past any reasonable tipping point. And we have a global security crisis on our hands that makes the world possibly more dangerous than any point in my lifetime. 

These are all symptoms of the president’s failed economic policies, as well as a lack of leadership in foreign policy.

Even by his own accord, the president has saddled our country with an irresponsible amount of debt—which at one time he described in the past as unpatriotic. 

Before he took office, then Senator Obama reviewed President Bush’s tenure in office saying, and I quote: ‘The way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back – $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic.’

These are the words of this president, Barack Obama. 

Let’s be clear. Under this president our national debt has ballooned from $10 trillion to almost $19 trillion. That means President Obama added approximately $9 trillion alone. 

Before President Obama leaves office, he will have added nearly as much debt than all of the other presidents before him.  

This is even more outrageous when you factor in how much revenue – or tax dollars – the federal government has collected. In 2015, we collected almost $3.4 trillion. This is more than any year in our history. Washington does not have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem, and it is focused on the wrong priorities. 

Equally concerning, this massive debt isn’t interest free. If interest rates were to rise to the 30-year average of 5.5 percent, the interest on the debt would amount to over $1 trillion each year. That’s more than twice what is currently spent on our military defending our country. It’s totally out of control and this is unmanageable. 

In reality, this debt crisis will only get worse because President Obama and Washington have not tackled the government’s largest expense – mandatory spending programs like Social Security and Medicare. 

This debt crisis does not only present a fiscal problem, it is inextricably linked to the global security concerns we are seeing today. In order to have a strong foreign policy, we have to have a strong military, but to have a strong military we have to have a vibrant and strong economy. There is no secret, throughout history, the countries who have had the strongest militaries and therefore the most secure foreign policy, are those who had the most vibrant economies of their day.

But under this president’s foreign policy decisions he has created a power vacuum, and has put our country in a much weaker position. 

Today, our enemies don’t fear us and our allies don’t trust us. Just three decades ago, we brought down the Soviet Union with power of our ideas and the strength of our economy. But look at the world today. 

Over the past seven years, we’ve seen the rise of a global security crisis that is unrivaled in my lifetime. Over the past seven years we’ve seen the rise of traditional rivals like Russia and China grow more aggressive. We’ve seen North Korea and Iran collaborate on nuclear proliferation. We’ve seen Syria cross ‘red lines’ and terrorism fill power vacuums in the Middle East and around the world. 

Last week, North Korea claims to have successfully completed its fourth nuclear weapons test with a much more powerful weapon than they've possessed before.

This is a sobering and stark reminder of the true consequences our country faces when our president shows weakness in the face of these radical regimes. And, not only have we witnessed weakness, but we’ve also seen this president naïvely trust a country like Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism today. 

Since President Obama announced his dangerous Iran deal in July, despite strong bipartisan opposition, Iran has actively accelerated its ballistic missile program, and continued financial support for terrorism in the region. In violation of the very sanctions we just heard on this floor. 

Iran has fired rockets near U.S. warships, fomented unrest in Yemen, taken more Americans hostage, refused to release an American pastor who has been held for three years, convicted an American journalist of spying, banned American products from being sold in Iran, and renewed its support for Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists. 

From the beginning, President Obama didn’t listen to military advice and prematurely pulled our troops out of Iraq creating another power vacuum. ISIS we know grew into this vacuum and sprouted influence not only in the Middle East but in Africa and Asia.   

Last November, he told the American people in a news interview: ‘We have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq. And in Syria if they'll come in, they'll leave. But you don't see this systematic march by ISIL across the terrain.’

We now know ISIS has not been contained in their ability to wage war against the West and will stop at nothing to deliver terrorism even to the shores of America. 

The president’s plan has failed, and we sit here today with no strategy to defeat ISIS. 

The world needs to see decisive action from the United States, not empty rhetoric that can’t be backed up. We need a new leader that takes every threat of any size seriously. Moving forward, nothing can go unchecked and unmet without relentless American resolve. 

No matter how you measure it, President Obama’s economic and foreign policies have indeed failed. 

Time and again, he has refused to change course when his policies didn’t work. When they didn’t help the very people he claims to champion. Instead, the president has created the fourth arm of government – the regulators – that are sucking the very life out of our free enterprise system today. 

Now, fewer people are working, wages are stagnant, incomes aren’t growing. The debt is soaring, and the world is much more dangerous than it was eight years ago. 

But, tonight, we will also hear from President Obama about his optimism for the future. 

Well, I get that. I share that optimism, but only because I believe we can do better, much better. 

We can tackle our national debt crisis. We can save Social Security and Medicare. We can defeat terrorism once and for all. But we cannot do it without bold leadership, however. 

We cannot do it without a sense of urgency and responsibility. We cannot do it unless the political class in this town, Washington, D.C., puts national interests ahead of self-interests. We cannot do it without the will and support of the American people.

I believe in America, Georgians believe in America, and Americans believe in America. 

Americans have always risen to the crisis of the day, and I know we’ll do it again this time. But Washington needs to really listen to the American people, focus on solutions they support, and unite our nation to make sure our best days are indeed ahead of us.

We owe it to our children and our children’s children. And the time to move is right now, the time for rhetoric has ended. We need to face up to the two crises we have today. The global security crisis, and our debt crisis which are interwoven together.”