The Leader Board

'The economy is just sputtering along and the reason for that, in my judgment, is because of what the administration chose to do: spend, borrow, pass this new Obamacare law with its penalty tax in it, its mandate tax. All of this is slowing the economy down.'

 

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on CNN's 'State of the Union' Sunday. The following are excerpts from the interview:

 

On the economy and the administration's record:

"It is terrible. We have got 41 straight months now of unemployment above 8 percent, 41 straight months. Candy, this is the most tepid recovery - if it is a recovery - from a deep recession in American history. The economy is just sputtering along and the reason for that, in my judgment, is because of what the administration chose to do: spend, borrow, pass this new Obamacare law with its penalty tax in it, its mandate tax. All of this is slowing the economy down."

***

"The President has got a very, very poor record. That is why he does not want to talk about it. I mean, take Friday's job figure, for example. You can go back two years ago and the job figure was better and the president said we are turning…it around. You know, clearly what they are doing is not working."

***

"The point is this, for two years the administration was able to do everything they wanted to. They borrowed, they spent, they had the government take over American health care all in place, and the question the American people should be asking is how is that working? Now the President would like to do more of the same. We don't think that makes sense. Why don't we try doing things that get the private sector - which is the only way we will ever get out of the economic trough - going again."

 

On Congress' agenda:

"Well, we just passed a transportation bill, so we were addressing an issue that we had broad agreement on, that transportation is important to our economy. But look, the way we're going to get the private sector going again is to change the way the government is treating the private sector. Things like Obamacare, things like overregulation are causing companies not to hire. And we have got the fiscal cliff coming at the end of the year. You know, what we ought to be doing is extend the current tax rates for another year with a hard requirement to get through comprehensive tax reform one more time. I negotiated with Vice President Biden the two-year extension of the current tax rates that we're in right now. The President signed it because he argued that to let taxes go up would make the economy worse. We have a slower growth rate today than we had then. That would settle at least part of the problem."

 

On the Supreme Court health care ruling:

"I was extremely disappointed. The Chief Justice, however, did make it clear that the mandate is a tax and if I may make an observation about that, Candy, the mandate tax, and 77 percent of it will be levied on people making $120,000 and less, and interestingly enough, that produces more tax revenue for the government than the so-called Buffett tax that the President tried to get us to pass to raise taxes on high income people."

 

On the health care mandate tax:

"Well, it is important to those people, and they are middle-income people. More tax revenue raised from middle-income people than the Buffett tax would raise from high-income people from a President who promised not to raise taxes on anyone. It is also driving premiums up. The cost of health care is going up. It cut Medicare by half a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. Nothing that was said in connection with passing this health care bill is working out."