The White House and the Democratic Party responded in full force to House Republican Leader John Boehner's economic speech today, accusing the GOP of relying on old, unsuccessful ideas for economic growth and failing to put forward a plan that would spur innovation in the United States.
Boehner this morning put forward afor fiscal discipline and a reversal of President Obama's stimulus policies.
Vice President Joe Biden subsequently vigorously defended the stimulus (otherwise known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and dismissed Boehner's proposals as "merely a list of things they think the president should not do."
"We all know what John Boehner and his Republican colleagues are against," Biden said. "I dont know what they are for that's going to change our economic circumstance."
While castigating Boehner for offering few new ideas, Biden launched into his vision of what the Obama administration hopes to see accomplished in areas such as automobile manufacturing and renewable energy, with the help of government investment.
"Now more than ever the American people need a policy of innovation," he said.
The vice president unveiled a new report from the White House on the stimulus investments made in transportation advancements, the renewable energy sector, medical research and platforms such as broadbrand infrastructure.
Biden said he has heard "not a word from our opponnents on how we're going to spur innovation... [and] lead the world in the 21st century." He also said, on a day when the administration announced which states would receive "Race to the Top" grants for education, that it was "striking" that Boehner's speech was "devoid of any proposal of how to improve America's schools."
Boehner this morning challenged Democrats to extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans -- including those in high income brackets -- but Biden said today that the government cannot afford to add those additional cuts to the deficit. Furthermore, he said, it would have no positive impact on the rest of the economy.
"Another $100,000 in liquidity [for Americans making more than $1 million a year] is not going to have any impact on the deficit or job creation," he said. He added it is a "myth" that letting the tax cuts expire for the wealthy will significantly impact small businesses.
Other Democrats also pounced Boehner's speech; the Democratic National Committee pointed to the funding Boehner's own district has received from the stimulus, while House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said today's speech "offered nothing more than a return to the failed Bush policies of the past that ran our economy into the ground and took millions of jobs with it."
Hoyer said it was hard to take Boehner seriously after Republicans opposed a $26 billion aid package intended to extend stimulus money to help states pay for teacher salaries and other public sector jobs.
Eddie Vale of the labor organization the AFL-CIO, poking fun at Boehner's deep tan, said in a statement, "No matter what kind of fake tan you slap on it these are the same washed up Republican policies that only benefit Wall Street and the very rich."