Johnson says address was disappointing

WASHINGTON- President Barack Obama covered no new ground in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, according to U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, and that was disappointing.

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, by the president’s decision to double down on the same big government policies that are making the American people’s lives harder,” said the Marietta Republican after listening to the speech. ” The president’s real agenda is not about equalizing incomes; his goal is to equalize outcomes. And that will lead to setbacks for small business owners and hard working taxpayers.

“The president conceded that ‘average wages have barely budged, inequality has deepened, upward mobility has stalled, too many Americans are working more than ever to just get by.’ Yet, he doesn’t attribute this ongoing economic struggle to the result of living under five years of his policies. In fact, he says he’ll just bypass Congress – representatives also elected by the American people – when he chooses.”

Johnson added that Obama has apparently run out of ideas about jobs.

“The president touts that the unemployment rate is down to 6.7 percent, but he fails to understand – or admit – that the unemployment rate has fallen because the labor force participation rate is the lowest it has been since 1978. Millions of people have simply given up looking for work. In fact, last month more Americans stopped looking for a job than found one. And that’s a tragedy,” Johnson said.

Among the omissions from the speech, according to Johnson, were discussions about a fix for Obamacare and the administration’s position on coal.

“Ohioans are seeing their premiums skyrocket, while others are having their health plans canceled. The law is hurting businesses in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, and small business owners are being forced to make painful decisions,” Johnson explained. “Also missing from his speech was any mention of easing his administration’s crippling regulations that have cost so many Ohio coal jobs.”

Obama’s failure to lead and look at the bigger problems facing America are disappointing, Johnson added.

“Life is getting harder for more and more Americans who find themselves having to work harder to make ends meet. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, to pursue policies that empower individuals to reach their dreams and create a healthier economy, rather than a federal government that too often now stands in their way.”