February 24, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following statement in response to President Obama's Joint Address to Congress tonight:
"There are three things that were in President Obama's address that should not have come as a huge surprise to me.
"First, President Obama committed to the largest annual tax increase in the history of America, through the implementation of a cap-and-trade system. The range of the tax increase that would be brought on by this cap-and-trade legislation is somewhere between $300-$330 Billion per year. As bad as the stimulus spending bill was, this would be much worse because instead of being one-time spending, the cap-and-trade tax increase would keep occurring year after year. During times of economic turmoil it is folly to impose more pain on families by intentionally raising their energy costs through cap and trade. The American people will be outraged when they realize that any so-called global warming "solutions" will not have a detectable impact on temperatures but will have very painful and real impacts on their budgets. Climate proposals should not be concealed under the guise of a deficit reduction tool.
"I was sitting near Sen. Barbara Boxer during inauguration, who was stunned that the President didn't address Global Warming in his speech. Unfortunately, it seems that the President is finally folding to the pressure from his liberal constituency. Thankfully, I believe we can still defeat these misguided climate efforts here in Congress.
"Second, the President reiterated his plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. I believe this is another direct response to pressure from his left-wing base. We cannot afford to close GITMO, and Obama will risk the release of terrorists in the continental United States by following through with this action. I recently visited GITMO and have been the most outspoken U.S. Senator in opposition to closing the facility. I introduced legislation to prevent GITMO prisoner transfers to the U.S. and will continue working to show that this facility is a great asset and it would be irresponsible to close.
"Third, and probably most frustrating, while President Obama and Congressional Democrats continue to throw open the flood gates of federal spending, he again insisted that he is going to halve the deficit by the end of his first term. There was no doubt Congressional Democrats were big spenders, but President Obama has proved to be the same by drastically increasing the deficit with the $800 billion so-called stimulus bill. Americans must understand that even if Obama were to halve the deficit by the end of his term, it would still be more than double the average deficit from the last eight years. The current deficit currently stands six times that average, and President Obama has begun his term by sending an already high deficit into the stratosphere. The average deficit for the 8 years of the Bush Administration was $245 billion. Currently, Obama has a $1.2 Trillion deficit, not including his $800 billion stimulus bill, more funding from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, a $400 billion-plus spending bill Congressional Democrats are now pushing through, on top of this country's mushrooming budget problems. This all threatens to push the deficit to at least $1.8 trillion. So even halved, the deficit will still remain nearly three times as much as the average deficit during the last eight years.
"I have gone out of my way to try to recognize publically to give President Obama's initiatives the benefit of a doubt, but it appears that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and other left-wing liberals have succeeded in pushing him too far to the left. The "solutions" he announced tonight in his Congressional address will only succeed in furthering the problem."