By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
President Barack Obama will deliver his second-to-last (there’s a silver-lining!) State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, Save Jerseyans, and consistent with this reputation for stubborn ideological behavior and extreme partisan brinksmanship, the President will propose… tax hikes and “free” college. All at a time when everyone agrees that D.C.’s finances are a hot mess.
Republican leaders are already offering their two cents.
Newly-minted Rep. Tom MacArthur (R, NJ-03) says the address “leaves too many unanswered questions.”
“For example,” MacArthur, who just began his first term in Congress, reasoned, “his call to make community college more affordable and accessible for all Americans is a worthy goal. We have 19 community colleges in New Jersey, and two in our district, that are valuable parts of our education system. But I’m concerned about where we’ll find the $60 billion to fund this idea, given our current financial situation. On top of that, we’re just not sure what an influx of federal money would do to the underlying cost of community college. I agree with the President’s overall goal of increasing access to education, but we have to be smart about how we do it.”
MacArthur’s biggest concern? (1) a new tax on 529 plans and (2) a 50% increase on the death tax rate.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me to hurt South Jersey families who have been putting aside money for years so their kids can go to any of our fine New Jersey schools,” he continued. “If we truly want to increase access to education, taking away incentives that encourage families to save money seems like a step in the wrong direction.”
Rep. Leonard Lance (R, NJ-07) recorded his prerebuttal and focused instead on what he’d LIKE to hear (I suspect he isn’t too optimistic):
Hello this is Congressman Leonard Lance.
Tonight President Barack Obama will deliver his sixth annual State of the Union address. The speech is expected to cover a wide range of issues facing the American people today, from the economy and jobs, immigration and health care reform to environmental policy and national security.
The president will be addressing the Nation before a new American Congress, and with it, the opportunity to usher in a new era of bipartisan compromise and productivity in Washington.
And there is much to be done – fueling the economic recovery to create more good-paying jobs, reducing the deficit, harnessing American-made energy, improving educational opportunities, and reforming our tax code.
These are just a few of the actionable policies that will strengthen our country and better the lives of the American people.
I hope to hear the President address the important issues confronting the Nation and commit to working with Congress in a bipartisan fashion to build a stronger economy and secure a better future for our country.
This is Congressman Leonard Lance. Thank you for watching.