Tag Archives: deficit

President’s Weekly Address, 6/1/13: Congress Should Take Action to Continue Growing the Economy

In this week’s address, President Obama says that the economy is moving in the right direction, but there is still more work to do. He called on Congress to act to give every responsible homeowner the chance to save money on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low interest rates, put more Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and fix our broken immigration system, so that we can continue to grow our economy and create good middle class jobs.

“Hi, everybody. Over the past four and a half years, we’ve been fighting our way back from an economic crisis and punishing recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs, their homes, and the sense of security they’d worked so hard to build.

And thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, our businesses have now created nearly 7 million new jobs over the past 38 months.

An auto industry that was flatlining is once again the heartbeat of American manufacturing – with Americans buying more cars than we have in five years.

Within the next few months, we’re projected to begin producing more of our own crude oil at home than we buy from other countries – the first time that’s happened in 16 years.

Deficits that were growing for years are now shrinking at the fastest rate in decades. The rise of health care costs is slowing, too.

And a housing market that was in tatters is showing new signs of real strength. Sales are rising. Foreclosures are declining. Construction is expanding. And home prices that are rising at the fastest rate in nearly seven years are helping a lot of families breathe a lot easier.

Now we need to do more.

This week, my administration announced that we’re extending a program to help more responsible families modify their mortgages so they can stay in their homes.

But to keep our housing market and our economy growing, Congress needs to step up and do its part. Members of Congress will be coming back next week for an important month of work. We’ve got to keep this progress going until middle-class families start regaining that sense of security. And we can’t let partisan politics get in the way.

Congress should pass a law giving every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low interest rates.

Congress should put more Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, like the one that collapsed last week in Washington state. We’d all be safer, and the unemployment rate would fall faster.

And Congress should fix our broken immigration system by passing commonsense reform that continues to strengthen our borders; holds employers accountable; provides a pathway to earned citizenship; and also modernizes our legal immigration system so that we’re reuniting families and attracting the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help our economy grow.

So there are a lot of reasons to feel optimistic about where we’re headed as a country – especially after all we’ve fought through together. We’ve just got to keep going. Because we’ve got more good jobs to create. We’ve got more kids to educate. We’ve got more doors of opportunity to open for anyone who’s willing to work hard enough to walk through those doors.

And if we work together, I’m as confident as I’ve ever been that we’ll get to where we need to be.

Thanks and have a great weekend.”

Source: http://1.usa.gov/15nT2H4

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Weekly Address, April 6, 2013: The President’s Plan to Create Jobs and Cut the Deficit

For years, an argument in Washington has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs, and making the investments we need to grow the economy. My budget puts that argument to rest. Because we don’t have to choose between these goals – we can do both. After all, as we saw in the 1990s, nothing reduces deficits faster than a growing economy.

My budget will reduce our deficits not with aimless, reckless spending cuts that hurt students and seniors and middle-class families – but through the balanced approach that the American people prefer, and the investments that a growing economy demands.

Now, the truth is, our deficits are already shrinking. That’s a fact. I’ve already signed more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction into law, and my budget will reduce our deficits by nearly $2 trillion more, without harming the recovery. That surpasses the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that many economists believe will stabilize our finances.

But deficit reduction cannot come at the cost of economic growth or middle-class security. And it doesn’t have to. My budget will make critical investments to grow the economy, create jobs, and strengthen the middle class…

It’s a budget that doesn’t spend beyond our means. And it’s a budget that doesn’t make harsh and unnecessary cuts that only serve to slow our economy. We’ll keep our promise to an aging generation by shoring up Medicare. And we’ll keep our promise to the next generation by investing in the fundamentals that have always made America strong – manufacturing and innovation, energy and education.

West Wing Week: 03/08/13 or “Jedi Mind-Meld”

This week, the President urged Congress to resolve harmful budget cuts and reduce the deficit in a way that helps grow the economy and strengthen the middle class, held his first Cabinet meeting of the second term, announced three key Cabinet nominations and signed the Violence Against Women Act.

“We’re not going to stop working on behalf of the American people.”

President Obama’s first Cabinet meeting of his second term:

The President:

“Obviously, we’re going to be spending some time talking about the potential impact of the sequester on all the agencies and missions across the board. It is an area of deep concern and I think everybody knows where I stand on this issue….

And so I will continue to seek out partners on the other side of the aisle so that we can create the kind of balanced approach of spending cuts, revenues, entitlement reform that everybody knows is the right way to do things….

Now, my agenda obviously is broader than just the sequester, because I laid out both in the inauguration and during the State of the Union a very robust agenda to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to grow this economy and to help families thrive and expand their opportunities. We want to make sure we’ve got a growing middle class and more ladders of opportunity into the middle class.

So in addition to talking about budget issues, we’re also going to spend some time talking about making sure that we have comprehensive immigration reform done. And I want to again thank members of Congress who on a bipartisan basis are moving forward on that agenda. We’re going to have the opportunity to talk about initiatives like early childhood education that can have an enormous impact on our kids and, ultimately, our growth and productivity. We’ll have a chance to hear from Joe and other members of the Cabinet about progress in reducing gun violence in this country.

So one of the things that I’ve instructed not just my White House but every agency is to make sure that, regardless of some of the challenges that they may face because of sequestration, we’re not going to stop working on behalf of the American people to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to continue to grow this economy and improve people’s prospects.”

Full remarks here: http://1.usa.gov/12p5ybg

More posts added in Replies throughout the day.

White House Press Briefing 2/19/13

Q: On the sequester, we went back and checked the record. On November 21, 2011, the President, after the super committee failed, came into this room — and Republicans on the Hill were talking about coming up with other cuts to deal with, as the President calls it, draconian cuts from the sequester — they were trying to come up with other ways to deal with this. The President came in this room and immediately said he would veto such a bill to come up with other cuts. So how does he now have the credibility to say the sequester would be so awful if the Republicans were saying over a year ago let’s find another way to deal with it, and he said I’ll veto that?

MR. CARNEY: Well, Ed, I know, because you were here, that you know that’s not an actual account of what he was talking about. There were efforts underway by Republicans in Congress to replace the sequester, which was half defense, half nondefense, with cuts only in nondefense. And that was basically saying Republicans were crossing their fingers when they all voted overwhelmingly for the sequester, when every Republican leader in the House voted for the sequester, including Chairman Ryan, Speaker Boehner, and others — Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy. The fact is that that is an unfair and unbalanced approach. So, yes, we do not support undoing the sequester in a way that says, you know what, we’ll throw double the number of kids out of Head Start; we’ll make double the amount of cuts to education, to investments in research and development; we’ll cut double the number of security guards on our border. That is completely inappropriate to the task and the need here.

Full text: http://1.usa.gov/VGBvck

President Obama on the sequester: The GOP’s meat-cleaver approach will hurt America

On March 14, 2013, an array of severe, across-the-board spending cuts will automatically take place unless Congress acts to prevent it. Congressional Republicans have adamantly refused to consider closing tax loopholes enjoyed only by the wealthiest minority of Americans, insisting that deficit reduction must be accomplished through slashing funds for national defense, police and firefighters, health care, programs for children and seniors, and other cuts that will cause hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose their jobs. Today, Feb. 19, the President called on Congress to find a balanced compromise while there’s still time.

The President: Now, if Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research. It won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day. It doesn’t make those distinctions.

Emergency responders like the ones who are here today — their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded. Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country.

Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.

And already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf. And as our military leaders have made clear, changes like this — not well thought through, not phased in properly — changes like this affect our ability to respond to threats in unstable parts of the world.

So these cuts are not smart. They are not fair. They will hurt our economy. They will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls. This is not an abstraction — people will lose their jobs.…

So I need everybody who’s watching today to understand we’ve got a few days. Congress can do the right thing. We can avert just one more Washington-manufactured problem that slows our recovery, and bring down our deficits in a balanced, responsible way. That’s my goal. That’s what would do right by these first responders. That’s what would do right by America’s middle class. That’s what I’m going to be working on and fighting for not just over the next few weeks, but over the next few years.

Full text of the President’s remarks: http://1.usa.gov/XrRQOV