Obama calls for bipartisan action to overcome economic crisis
The U.S. credit rating fell, President Obama said in an early afternoon White House address to reporters, not because the country is unable to meet its obligations, but because the political process failed. And he called on Congress to work in a bipartisan manner when it returns from its August recess to take actions that will restore faith in the U.S. economy.
But some of what he proposes is likely to be opposed by Republicans. Making that dream more difficult to achieve.
“The gridlock in Washington over the past several months has not been constructive to say the very least,” Obama said.
The result: a slowing, the president said, of the pace of the economic recovery.
While this is a legitimate source of concern, the good news, he said, is that the problems are “imminently solvable.”
Obama noted that the 11th hour agreement reached in Congress resulted in historic cuts to defense and domestic spending. That, he believes, cuts things pretty much to the bone. What’s needed now, he argues, is tax reform that asks “those who can afford it to pay their fair share.” He also supports “modest adjustments to healthcare programs like medicare.”
The former will likely, however, to be opposed by Republicans. The latter, by Democrats.
Obama also called for an extension of the payroll tax cut and assurances that jobless Americans still get their unemployment insurance. Both actions, he argued, will put money in people’s pockets and more customers in stores.
While not specifically using the word “stimulus,” Obama also said the government should help companies that want to repair bridges, highways and airports, creating more jobs for construction workers.
Failure to enact these measures, he warned, could result in one million fewer jobs and half-a-percent reduction in growth.
“These are not Democratic proposals These are not big government proposals. “These are all ideas that traditionally republicans have agreed to “There’s no reason,” he said, “why should not act on them now.”