Congressman Adrian Smith says President Obama’s challenge to Republicans on health care during the State of the Union address was off-base.
Smith, a Republican, says the president needlessly attacked Republicans during his defense of the federal health insurance law.
“It was intended to divide. It shouldn’t surprise us,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “The president has been very divisive on many issues and the fact that he would kind of mention this, certainly in the way that he did, concerns me, because the American people are speaking up to the fact and reflecting on the fact that the health care situation; it’s broken.”
Smith says Republicans have offered numerous alternatives to the federal law, but the White House has rejected them all.
Smith says the president struck on some issues that provide common ground, but he wishes there were more. Smith says he was encouraged that the president mention tax reform. Smith says comprehensive tax reform would awaken a stagnant economy, which would generate more revenue for the federal government. He says tax reform, coupled with fiscal restraint, would bring down the $17 trillion federal debt.
Still, Smith says he would have liked to hear more economic development proposals in the speech.
The Congressman praised the president for mention trade. Smith agrees that enhanced trade would create more jobs in America.
The best way for the federal government to help the economy, according to Smith, would be to get out of the way of the private sector.
“I constantly hear from Nebraskans who feel like they are harassed by the federal government,” Smith says. “Whether it’s someone who lost their health insurance coverage when they were told they could keep it, or whether it’s ag producers who feel harassed by either the EPA or OSHA. Small businesses constantly tell me that they’re facing these regulations that are burdensome and don’t really produce a lot in terms of results.”