House Speaker John Boehner delivered a brief response to the president's address. He performed ably, pushing back against some of Obama's demagoguery, and explaining the principles and motivations behind his party's actions. Here are a few of Boehner's strongest points --
On Obama's record:
President Obama came to Congress in January and requested business as usual -- yet another routine increase in the national debt limit -- we in the House said 'not so fast.' Here was the president, asking for the largest debt increase in American history, on the heels of the largest spending binge in American history.
Here's what we got for that spending binge: a massive health care bill that most Americans never asked for. A 'stimulus' bill that was more effective in producing material for late-night comedians than it was in producing jobs. And a national debt that has gotten so out of hand it has sparked a crisis without precedent in my lifetime or yours.
On the folly of a "balanced" approach:
The president has often said we need a 'balanced' approach -- which in Washington means: we spend more. . .you pay more. Having run a small business, I know those tax increases will destroy jobs. The president is adamant that we cannot make fundamental changes to our entitlement programs. As the father of two daughters, I know these programs won't be there for them and their kids unless significant action is taken now. The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.
On the state of play:
You see, there is no stalemate in Congress. The House has passed a bill to raise the debt limit with bipartisan support. And this week, while the Senate is struggling to pass a bill filled with phony accounting and Washington gimmicks, we will pass another bill - one that was developed with the support of the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate.
Obviously, I expect that bill can and will pass the Senate, and be sent to the President for his signature. If the President signs it, the 'crisis' atmosphere he has created will simply disappear. The debt limit will be raised. Spending will be cut by more than one trillion dollars, and a serious, bipartisan committee of the Congress will begin the hard but necessary work of dealing with the tough challenges our nation faces.
On the plain truth:
The solution to this crisis is not complicated: if you're spending more money than you're taking in, you need to spend less of it. There is no symptom of big government more menacing than our debt. Break its grip, and we begin to liberate our economy and our future. We are up to the task, and I hope President Obama will join us in this work.
Well said, Mr. Speaker.
UPDATE - Video added:
UPDATE II: It appears public response to Boehner's speech was so overwhelming that his website has crashed due to massive traffic.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography