Obama, GOP Push Vastly Different Jobs Agendas

Posted October 1, 2011 at 5:00am

President Barack Obama and a House Republican used weekly radio addresses to spar over alternative visions of how best to boost job creation.

Obama again made the case for quick Congressional passage of his American Jobs Act, a measure he said “would put people back to work and put money in people’s pockets.”

In the Republican response, Rep. Morgan Griffith (Va.) pointed to a series of bills the House will consider in the coming weeks “aimed at cutting red tape and stopping the excessive regulations that hamper job creation.”

The speeches highlighted the diametrically opposed methods the two parties see as the way out of tough economic times.

For Republicans, government’s heavy hand on business is the problem. For Obama and the Democrats, government action is the solution.

Both Obama and Griffith, who represents a mostly rural district in southwest Virginia, used real-life examples to bolster their cases.

“Cathleen Dixon sent me pictures of the aging bridge she drives under when she takes her kids to school in Chicago every day,” Obama said. “She worries about their safety, and writes, ‘I am angry that in this country of vast resources we claim that we cannot maintain basic infrastructure. How can we ever hope to preserve or regain our stature in this world, if we cannot find the will to protect our people and take care of our basic needs?’”

Griffith cited new regulatory requirements for producers of cement — “the backbone of just about every construction project” — and new rules for boilers used by a wide range of industries,  “including hospitals, factories, and even colleges.”

“Understand that the investments required by these rules are irreversible,” Griffith said. “For those businesses that cannot make these investments, and decide to stop producing their product at a particular location, the job losses are also irreversible.”