Intense thanks to Matt Hurley and Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion (their trademark: “People know them”) for extending the invitation to yours truly to attend the speech given today by the likely next Speaker of the House, current Republican Leader and 8th District Ohio Congressman, John Boehner.
After a shuttle bus trip, the roughly 400-500 invitees and probably 50 media types were first treated to a brown-bag lunch at United Group Services in Butler County. We all then went to a separate UGS building where Boehner was to speak. His speech began at about 12:35.
Boehner spoke after a heartfelt introduction from UGS President Mark Mosley.
Here are the top five direct-quote takeaways, in order of appearance, with the exception of the last, which I have bookended from different segments of the speech (bolds and uppercase words are obviously mine):
- “Let me be crystal clear, it if isn’t clear already: this speech is about jobs. And this speech is about jobs, because this coming election is about jobs. It’s about the jobs that were promised to the American people by the current administration, and never delivered.”
- “The truth of the matter is, our economy is built on freedom. You don’t get to prosperity by taking freedom away from the people who create jobs. You achieve prosperity by getting government out of their way.”
- “The pink slips shouldn’t be going to workers here in Ohio. They should be going to the members of Barack Obama’s economic team.”
- “The Pledge to America is a break not only from the direction in which President Obama is headed, but also a break from the direction Republicans were headed when we last had the opportunity to govern. And I can promise you: if we’re entrusted with the opportunity to govern, we are going to do things differently. The American people deserve nothing less, and we will accept nothing less. I will accept nothing less.”
“At the health care summit last February, President Obama told us it’s OK to have deep philosophical differences and different visions for where we’d lead our country. “That’s what elections are for,” he said. …”
“Ladies and gentlemen, your government hasn’t been listening. Your government is disrespecting you, your family, your job, your children. Your government is out of control.”
“Do you have to accept it? Do you have to take it? HELL NO YOU DON’T! That’s what elections are for!”
Nicely done, sir.
The full speech follows — after the jump if you’re on the home page — courtesy of Don Seymour.
Thanks, Mark, for that warm introduction. And thank you all for joining me today. I’m happy to be here with you.
Now some of may know this, but I grew up working in my dad’s tavern just a few miles down the road from here. I mopped floors, waited tables, and tended bar.
I put myself through college by working odd jobs and night shifts, and eventually ran my own small business.
Back before I was representing the people of the 8th District of Ohio in the House of Representatives, I was representing manufacturers in the packaging and plastics industry.
It wasn’t always the most glamorous work. But, like millions of other Americans who’ve run a small business, we poured heart and soul into making it successful.
We got passionate about things like supplying component parts for a brand new, state-of-the-art industrial broom.
Yeah. . .that broom was virtually indestructible. I still feel a little twinge of pride when I think about it.
Now, you might chuckle about that. And sure, if you weren’t around to witness it, this might seem a little mundane. But to me back then, it meant the world.
It meant putting food on the table for my wife and kids, and presents around the tree at Christmas.
It meant jobs and secure benefits for my employees.
It meant security for the present, and hope for the future.
Every American who takes pride in their work can relate to that. Whether you push a mop, run a backhoe, lay shingles, tend bar, or even serve in the United States Congress – we Americans take pride in our jobs.
I did all of those things. I’ve had every quote-unquote “rotten job” you can think of — and I’ll tell you what, I was grateful to have every one of them.
Let me be crystal clear, it if isn’t clear already: this speech is about jobs. And this speech is about jobs, because this coming election is about jobs.
It’s about the jobs that were promised to the American people by the current administration, and never delivered.
It’s about the jobs our economy should be creating right now, but isn’t creating, because of the policies coming out of our Congress.
It’s about the jobs our children deserve in the future, but may never have because Washington is burying them in a legacy of debt.
This morning we got the latest national jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor.
It looks a lot like the reports we’ve seen every month since President Obama signed his “stimulus” spending bill into law. Unemployment is high. Millions are out of work. Private-sector job creation is flat.
That’s what you got for your 787 billion dollars. Record high unemployment. A bigger government. And an economy struggling to create jobs.
This upcoming election is a referendum. As Americans, we have to decide: do we want another two years of job-killing policies out of Washington? Or have we had enough?
I’m a small businessman at heart. Always will be.
Running a small business here in Butler County was one of the proudest times of my life. And it gave me a perspective on our country that I’ve carried with me throughout my time in public service.
Family-owned operations like my dad’s tavern, and small businesses like mine and United Group Services, are what power the American economy.
They employ a quarter of the workers in our country and created the majority of new jobs over the last decade.
Small businesses like these are essential to the American Dream. And right now that Dream is under siege.
I ran for Congress back in 1990 because of what I saw happening to small businesses in America.
I got tired of watching Washington strangle the goose that laid the golden egg.
The federal government was getting too big, too intrusive, and too expensive.
Politicians who had no understanding of the private sector talked about the importance of creating jobs, and then forced policies on American small businesses that made job creation harder.
Elected officials with no understanding of how our economy works spent money with reckless abandon, running up the deficit and telling us we could pay for it all by raising taxes.
It was clear they believed the engine of prosperity in America is government itself.
The thinking went like this: if you want more jobs, then spend more money. Collect more taxes, and redistribute them from the federal level. Make government bigger.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the Obama Administration, this thinking may sound familiar. It’s not “new.” In fact there’s nothing “new” about it. And anyone who’s ever created a private sector job in America can tell you it is dead wrong.
The truth of the matter is, our economy is built on freedom.
You don’t get to prosperity by taking freedom away from the people who create jobs. You achieve prosperity by getting government out of their way.
The greatest threat to job creation in our country is the flawed idea that we can tax, spend and borrow our way to prosperity.
The halls of power in our government right now are filled with people stubbornly devoted to the tired old idea that government can create prosperity by spending and borrowing.
For the past four years they’ve been running Congress. For the past 20 months, they’ve controlled our entire government, from the White House to Capitol Hill. And for the past 20 months, they’ve done everything BUT focus on jobs.
Five hundred miles away from here in Washington, a spending binge is going on that threatens our prosperity.
And small businesses, the engine of job creation in America, are gripped by uncertainty. Under President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Washington has been throwing everything at them but the kitchen sink.
First it was a “stimulus” that shipped jobs overseas to China instead of creating jobs here at home.
A few months later came the threat of a new national energy tax called “cap and trade.”
Then there was Obamacare, with its unconstitutional mandates and job-killing tax hikes and paperwork requirements.
And now President Obama and his team are supporting a tax hike that the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation says will raise taxes on 50 percent of the small business income in America.
That means hundreds of thousands of private-sector companies face the prospect of a job-killing tax hike on January 1st. This company could be one of them.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not what America asked for when it entrusted Sen. Barack Obama with the Oval Office.
The pink slips shouldn’t be going to workers here in Ohio. They should be going to the members of Barack Obama’s economic team.
At the health care summit last February, President Obama told us it’s OK to have deep philosophical differences and different visions for where we’d lead our country. “That’s what elections are for,” he said.
Over the past two years the governing party in Washington has been deeply committed to the tired old notion that our nation can spend and borrow its way back to prosperity.
Twenty months ago, Americans were told that if we’d just have the courage to let the government borrow about a trillion more dollars from our children and grandchildren and then let Members of Congress and bureaucrats sprinkle that money around the country, magical things would happen.
Unemployment would go no higher than 8 percent, they told us, and millions of new jobs would be created immediately, most of them jobs in the private sector.
It didn’t happen.
The president and his allies went behind closed doors and wrote the biggest pork-barrel spending bill in American history.
They rushed it through Congress without giving legislators the chance to read it, much less the American people.
They mocked us for asking for more time to let Americans see what was actually in the bill, and told us we were committing political suicide by opposing it. My colleagues and I stood united, together, and voted no.
They promised all the spending would “stimulate” the economy and create jobs right away.
It didn’t happen.
Asked to change his economic team and stop the spending spree in Washington, the president refused, promoted one of the architects of his failed “stimulus” policies, and requested more “stimulus” spending for next year.
Americans said “stop.” But no one stopped. The president and his party just kept on spending.
The same thing happened on health care.
The president and his allies promised Americans a health care bill that would lower health care costs. They also promised nobody would be forced out of their current health care plan. The president said “if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it.”
It didn’t happen. The Obama administration’s own chief actuary for Medicare and Medicaid says the president’s health care law doesn’t lower costs; it raises them. And millions of Americans are about to be forced out of their health care plans.
The American people asked President Obama and Nancy Pelosi to scrap the health care bill and start over on a smaller, common-sense plan our nation could afford.
It didn’t happen. They ignored the people, and rammed it through.
The people running Washington haven’t been listening. The people say one thing, and their government does another.
People keep asking me – John, what can we do about it?
Well, my friends, as the president said: that’s what elections are for.
Americans have been crystal clear about what they want: more jobs, less spending, and a more open Congress that respects and abides by the Constitution.
If those things are going to happen, then we need a new majority in Congress that will stand up to President Barack Obama and insist that he start listening to the people.
Back in May, my colleagues and I launched a project called America Speaking Out. The goal was to craft a new governing agenda for America by listening to the people.
We spent the whole summer doing that, here in the 8th District of Ohio and across the country. And two weeks ago, we unveiled the product of that effort. We call it A Pledge to America.
The Pledge is not an all-inclusive party platform. Nor is it a long-range agenda to address every challenge under the sun.
The Pledge is a set of first priorities – actions the American people are demanding be taken right now. Things we could do right now – today – if Nancy Pelosi would call the House back into session and bring them to a vote.
There’s a job creation plan that starts with stopping all the tax hikes and eliminating uncertainty for small businesses like this one, to help them get back to creating jobs.
We want to give small businesses a deduction equal to 20 percent of their income so they have the money to start hiring.
There’s a plan to end the spending spree in Washington that’s hurting our economy and hurting our children’s future.
Our plan cuts spending immediately, back to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels. Then we impose strict, enforceable budget caps to keep things from getting out of control again.
There’s a plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with common-sense reforms that will lower health care costs instead of killing jobs and driving our country into bankruptcy.
And there’s a plan to make changes to Congress itself.
The American people deserve the respect of being allowed to read the bills the House is working on before they come to a vote. The Pledge would guarantee them that right.
The Pledge also calls for changes in House rules to make spending cuts easier and spending hikes harder.
And we’re calling for an end to so-called “comprehensive” bills that lump together issues that have nothing to do with each other.
The very structure of Congress right now is rigged in favor of spending. If we’re going to confront the massive challenges that lie ahead for our country, the American people understand this has to change.
The bottom line is this: to help our economy create jobs, we have to stop all of the coming tax hikes and cut spending — and to cut spending, we need to change Congress itself.
My friends, this is a new way forward that hasn’t been tried in Washington.
The Pledge to America is a break not only from the direction in which President Obama is headed, but also a break from the direction Republicans were headed when we last had the opportunity to govern.
And I can promise you: if we’re entrusted with the opportunity to govern, we are going to do things differently. The American people deserve nothing less, and we will accept nothing less. I will accept nothing less.
In the Preamble to the Pledge to America, we state:
“America is an inspiration to those who yearn to be free and have the ability and the dignity to determine their own destiny.
“Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course.
“These first principles were proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, enshrined in the Constitution, and have endured through hard sacrifice and commitment by generations of Americans.
“In a self-governing society, the only bulwark against the power of the state is the consent of the governed, and regarding the policies of the current government, the governed do not consent.”
Ladies and gentlemen, your government hasn’t been listening.
Your government is disrespecting you, your family, your job, your children.
Your government is out of control.
Do you have to accept it? Do you have to take it?
Hell no you don’t! That’s what elections are for!
In Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote that “we have it in our power to begin the world over again.”
In just 25 days, voters will have a chance to do just that. And I’m not just talking about Republican voters. Republicans, independents, discerning Democrats – all of us have a chance to come together and put our country back on track.
We can start over.
We can help small businesses get back to creating jobs. We can cut spending. And we can fundamentally change the way Washington does business.
It starts with putting a new majority in charge of the United States Congress on November 2nd, and sending Nancy Pelosi back to San Francisco.
Here in the 8th District of Ohio and across our nation, Americans are speaking out like never before.
I’m honored and humbled to represent this great community in Congress, and I ask for the honor of your vote again on November 2nd so we can give our nation the fresh start it needs.
The government our children deserve is within our grasp. It starts next month – and it starts with throwing out the politicians who aren’t listening and giving a chance to a new Congress that will.
Thank you very much. God Bless you.