"Everyone grab your pitchforks, run to the rich guy's house, and grab his stuff." This is how freshman Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), speaking earlier today at the Heritage Foundation, described Obama's depiction of the debt crisis.
Lankford said he was "really disappointed" with the president's address last night, charging that Obama simply used his platform to blame Republicans for the country's problems. Lankford gave the president credit for rightly stating that the debt crisis is affecting job creation, but at the same time accused him of poorly framing the debt debate.
According to Lankford, Obama made it seem as though if we just "stuck it to the man" a little more, all our problems would be solved. But "that's not true, and he knows it," Lankford continued.
Lankford also insisted that a downgrade of the US credit rating is imminent and that, in his last speech, Obama was trying to preempt it by shifting blame for the nation's economic woes to the Republicans.
And this type of politicking and finger-pointing is common in the ongoing debt discussion. Lankford said that there is generally too much focus on answering questions such as "How much do we want to cut?" and "Do we want tax hikes or don't we?" Debating these questions may be good for firing up political bases and causing controversy in Congress, but, "ultimately, that does not solve the problem," as Lankford put it.
Instead, he asserted, we need systemic reforms, and we need to realize that one vote will not solve the debt crisis: "August the 2nd doesn't solve it either way," he said.
Finally, Lankford commented on the freshman class of congressional representatives, calling them "a very diverse group," except on debt and spending issues. They were elected by the American people, he said, with "one unifying disdain," and that disdain was for the growing national debt.