Obama attacks GOP, downplays his role in nation’s financial woes

President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union speech included numerous and familiar partisan jabs at his rivals.

“The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. … But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party,” he declared. That phrase revives his repeated suggestions in 2011 that the GOP puts its self-interest above the nation’s interest.

He also suggested that the GOP wants to reduce the deficit by shifting taxation from wealthy Americans to poor Americans.

“Some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training; Medicare and Social Security benefits,” he claimed. “We can’t ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful.”

He tried to blame the GOP — and excuse himself — for the impending sequester cuts of roughly $90 billion from Pentagon and domestic spending.

“In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars’ worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year,” he said, without noting that he proposed the sequester, and signed the budget law. “These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness … [and] would devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research … and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs,” he continued.

However, Obama’s government-first spending plans have boosted the nation’s debt by $6 trillion — to $16 trillion — since 2009. But those plans have failed to reduce the unemployment rate or to increase wages. The national debt is also slated to increase to exceed $20 trillion by 2017.

Obama also tried to blame the GOP for the series of budget and financial crises that have hit Washington since 2011. “Let’s set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments … and let’s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors,” Obama said.

He also sought to portray the GOP as anti-scientific for its skepticism about the controversial claim that governments can regulate the globe’s climate by regulating the emission of carbon dioxide.

“We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence,” he declared. “Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it’s too late,” he announced.

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