Point-Counterpoint: President Obama’s jobs speech

ATLANTA — President Obama on Thursday delivered his much-anticipated speech on the economy.
 
Not surprisingly, reaction to the speech was split along party lines.
 
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. said Obama “delivered a great speech,” saying the president “reached the soul of America and acknowledged the pain and struggles so many of us are facing” and “offered credible, legislative action that Congress can implement to help resolve our problems. His speech was bold, thoughtful, and inspiring.
 
“I know many will say the proposal is too expensive, but he said it can all be paid for if we are willing to insure that everyone pays their fair share and take steps to reform government where change is needed,” Lewis added. “Our problems are massive, and they will take massive intervention to resolve.  We cannot do it on the cheap, and we cannot shrink in fear, as Chairman Bernanke warned against today. Cutting is not the only solution. We must take action, and the President offered us a plan of action tonight.

“It was also important that the President reminded us not to use economic turmoil 'as an excuse to wipe out basic protections' that have defined the American way of life for decades.  We must rise to the occasion, challenge ourselves as a nation and challenge this Congress to make the hard choices and the critical compromises that create the climate and environment for growth.  We must put partisanship aside and do what is right for the American people.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., said that Obama “took to the podium tonight to deliver yet another campaign speech. It just goes to show that he is not focused on creating permanent jobs for Americans- he's focused on Election Day 2012.”
 
“Instead of proposing nearly a half of a trillion dollars in new stimulus spending, the President should have offered real solutions that don't cost taxpayers more money, but rather allow them to keep more of their hard earned tax dollars,” Broun added. “I urge President Obama to take a look at my JOBS Act, H.R. 660, which would provide immediate relief to small businesses in Georgia and nationwide by permanently eliminating the capital gains tax and by setting the corporate tax rate at 0 (percent). My bill is a real proposal that you can hang your hat on – unlike the one that President Obama offered tonight.”

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