President Barack Obama says an economic plan by the House Republican leader just repeats job-killing policies of the past and would take the country "backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward."
In turn, House GOP leader John Boehner said the president had stooped to partisan attacks because he can't sell his own plan at a time when millions of people want to know what happened to the jobs Obama promised to create.
Days after imposing new regulations on the financial industry, Obama said Saturday that the new law is a "key pillar" of his overall economic plan to reverse the recession that began on Wall Street and build a stronger economy overall.
"It took nearly a decade of failed economic policies to create this mess, and it will take years to fully repair the damage," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. "But I am confident that we are finally headed in the right direction. We are moving forward. And what we can't afford right now is to go back to the same ideas that created this mess in the first place."
Previewing one of the arguments he'll be making as he campaigns for congressional Democrats heading into the November midterm elections, Obama acknowledged that the economic growth on his watch isn't nearly enough to replace the millions of lost jobs.
But he said essentially that the Republican alternative — repealing the health care law, continuing tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and rejecting investments in clean energy — would be much worse.
"They are the same policies that led us into this recession," Obama said. "They will not create jobs, they will kill them. "
Boehner countered that Republicans have better solutions and will stop Democratic tax hikes and spending sprees.
"The fact is that Washington Democrats' policies have created uncertainty that has undermined our economy, shaken the confidence of the nation and cost millions of American jobs," the Ohio Republican said. "Our nation needs leadership, not excuses."
In the Republican's weekly address, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., promised a fight against a tax increase that he said is coming next year.
Tax cuts enacted under Republican George W. Bush's presidency are scheduled to expire in January and — partly out of voter concern over the rising federal budget deficit — Democrats are undecided over whether to extend them as Republicans advocate.
"The American people know we can't tax and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy," Pence said. "House Republicans opposed the Democrats' failed stimulus bill, their national energy tax, their government takeover of health care and House Republicans will oppose this tax increase with everything we've got."
Obama address: http://www.whitehouse.gov
GOP address: http://www.youtube.com/republicanconference
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