Rep. Graves Responds to State of the Union: Opportunity Through Freedom

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued a message in response to President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address.

Rep. Tom Graves
Rep. Tom Graves

Hi, I’m Congressman Tom Graves.

Tonight, we heard the president talk a lot about our economic challenges, and the need for new opportunities.

I agree that we need to get the economy going, so that millions of unemployed Americans can find good paying jobs.

However, the president and I disagree on the government’s role in this agenda.

He sees Washington—and himself—as a source of opportunity, while I see them as the roadblock to economic progress.

To explain, I’ll start at home, in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.

Last week, my entire staff gathered there for our annual meeting.

Between planning sessions, we spent a lot of time visiting local companies and saw firsthand how thousands of Georgia jobs are created.

After the tours, we talked about how these businesses do amazing and innovative things.

The employees work hard to solve complex problems, and they lift up the communities around them.

We also heard about the challenges.

Company leaders passionately explained how good paying jobs are crushed by taxes and regulations.

It's a hard truth that the president's vision denies.

Too often, when a person in need reaches out for an opportunity, and a potential employer reaches back, the government is in the way.

The president would rather promote the benefits of unemployment than address his policies that have blocked the paychecks and joys of true employment.

He seems to be satisfied with you making a minimum wage, after his own health care law has forced employers to cut your hours and pay.

These aren't plans for enduring prosperity.

The government is just trying to fix its own mistakes.

Solutions to poverty, jobs, higher incomes and upward mobility exist right in our local communities—in the entrepreneur's garage, or the research and development wing of a major company.

So, how about this vision:

Bigger paychecks through lower taxes and more hours.

More health insurance options at a lower cost—through choice, not mandates.

Access to more housing and job options through local control of transportation projects.

Cheaper gas and groceries with a free market approach to energy.

Freeing America's businesses to go on offense in the global market, rather than play defense against Washington's regulations.

For us, in North Georgia, it just means unleashing all the potential within every person.

Opportunity through freedom.

That's the story of America's greatness, and the guide for enduring prosperity.


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