President Obama: 'We can't balance the budget on the backs of the very people who have born the biggest brunt of this recession'
President Barack Obama addressed the nation now that the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have passed the debt ceiling bill. The President has until midnight Tuesday night (Aug. 2) to sign the bill into law.
President Obama says:
Congress has now approved a compromise to reduce the deficit and avert a default that would have devastated our economy. It was a long and contentious debate and I want to thank the American people for keeping up the pressure on their elected officials, who put politics aside and work together for the good fo the country. This compromise guarantees more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction. It's our first step in ensuring as a nation we live within our needs. ...
This is, however, just the first step. This compromise requires that both parties work together on a larger plan to cut the deficit, which is important for the long-term health of our economy. Since you can't close the deficit with just spending cuts, we'll need a balanced approached where everything's on the table. Yes, that means making some adjustments to protect health care programs like Medicare so they're there for future generations.
It also means reforming our tax code so the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations pay their fair share and it means getting rid of taxpayer subsidies to oil and gas companies and tax loopholes that help billionaires pay a lower tax rate than teachers and nurses. I've said it before and I'll say it again - we can't balance the budget on the backs of the very people who have born the biggest brunt of this recession ... Everyone's going to have to chip it. It's only fair. ... In the coming months, I'll continue also to fight for what the American people care most about - new jobs, higher wages and faster economic growth.
President Obama then goes on to talk about how there are enough problems in the world right now - the economy, an earthquake in Japan, the economic problems in Europe, the rise in oil prices - so the American people don't need a "manufactured crisis" out of Washington D.C. He says he will urge Congress towards commonsense steps to help the economy bounce back, particularly to extend tax cuts to middle-class families.