SALT LAKE CITY -- U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement this evening after President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address to the nation in Washington.
"This speech was a profound disappointment, because we've heard this speech and these empty promises before. The state of our union is strong, because of the hardworking people of our great country, not the president's failed economic policies of more government, more taxes, more spending, and more debt. The American people have soundly rejected the president's class-warfare economics that have sought to divide -- not unite -- our country during difficult times that have left the middle class footing the bill.
"The only person the president can blame for our sluggish economy, for the stalemate with Congress, and for our massive debt is himself. This White House has shown an arrogance of power and a belief that Washington knows best since the president took office three years ago. In fact, instead of making the tough choices to take on the greatest challenge facing our nation today, this administration has done more to solve Europe's debt crisis than it has done to tackle our own. While the president talks about bringing more American energy online, he's already shut off domestic production, including the Keystone XL pipeline, a promising, shovel-ready project that would employ tens of thousands of American workers.
"Real effective tax reform is long past due and is something both political parties agree must happen. We must reform our tax code in a way that generates economic growth and prosperity by generating more taxpayers -- not higher taxes. Unfortunately, despite the president's rhetoric of fairness, the reality is his tax hikes would hit small businesses on the chin at a time when they should be investing in creating jobs.
"Our future must be built on the foundation of hard work, equal opportunity, and free enterprise that our country was founded upon. For the future of our country, this is a lesson this president needs to learn."