Obama: Full faith, credit of USA not a 'bargaining chip'
President holds final news conference of first term
- Duration 9:04
- Date Jan 14, 2013
President holds final news conference of first term
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Please have Souter -- good morning.
I thought it might make sense to take some questions this week as my first term comes to an end.
It's been a busy and productive for years and I expect the same for the next four years.
And -- to carry out the agenda that I campaign -- An agenda for new jobs.
And new security for the middle class.
Now right now our economy is growing and our businesses are creating new jobs so we are poised for a good year.
If we make Smart decisions and sound investments.
And as long as Washington politics don't get in the way of America's progress.
As I served on the campaign.
One component to growing our economy and broadening opportunity for middle class.
Is shrinking our deficits.
In a balanced and responsible -- And for nearly two years now I've been fighting for such a plan.
When that would reduce our deficits by four trillion dollars over the next decade which would stabilize our debt.
Our deficit in a sustainable way for the next -- That would be enough not only to stop the growth of our debt -- of the size of our economy but it would make it manageable.
So doesn't crowd out investments we need to make and people and education and job training in science and medical -- all the things that help us well.
-- step by step we've made progress towards that goal.
Over the past two years I've signed -- a law about one point four trillion dollars in spending cuts.
Two weeks ago I signed into law more than 600 billion dollars in new revenue by making sure the wealthiest Americans begin to pay their fair share.
When you add the money the will save an interest payments on the debt.
Altogether that adds up to a total of about 2.5.
Trillion dollars in -- -- reduction over the past two years.
Not counting the 400 billion dollars already saved from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So we've made progress.
We are moving towards our ultimate goal of getting to four trillion dollar reduction.
And there will be more deficit reduction when congress decides what to do about the one point two trillion dollars in automatic spending cuts that.
Have been pushed off until next month.
The fact is though we can't finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts along.
The -- we've already made to priorities other than Medicare Medicaid Social Security in the facts.
Mean that we spend.
On everything from education to public safety.
Less as a share of our economy.
Than it has then has been trooper generation.
And that's not a recipe for growth.
So we've got to do more -- to stabilize our finances over the medium and long term.
But also spur more growth in the short term.
I've said I've I'm open to making modest adjustments to programs like Medicare to protect them for future generations.
I've also said that we need more revenue.
Through tax reform by closing loopholes and our tax -- for the wealthiest Americans.
If we combined a balanced package of savings from spending on health care and revenues from closing loopholes.
We can solve the deficit issue without sacrificing.
Our investments in things like education that are gonna help us grow.
Turns out the American people agree with me.
They listen to an entire year's debate over this issue.
And they made a clear decision about the approach they prefer they don't think it's fair for example to ask a senior pay more for his or her health care.
-- scientists to shut down lifesaving search so that a multimillionaire investor can pay less.
In tax rates than a secretary.
I don't think it's Smart to protect and -- corporate loopholes and tax breaks.
For the wealthiest Americans rather than rebuild our roads our schools invest in our workers' skills or help manufacturers.
Bring jobs back to America.
So they want us to get our books in order in a balanced way where everybody pulls -- -- Everyone does their part.
That's -- one as well that's what I propose.
And we can get it done.
But we're gonna have to make sure that people are looking at this any responsible way.
Rather than just through the -- of politics.
Now the other congressionally imposed deadline coming up as the so called that's it.
Something most Americans.
And even heard of before two years ago.
-- I want to be clear about us.
The debt ceiling is not a question of authorizing more spending.
Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more spending it's simply allows the country.
To pay for spending that congress has already committed took.
Bills -- -- -- been racked up.
And we need to pay -- So while I'm willing to compromise and find common ground over how to reduce our deficits.
America cannot afford another debate -- this congress about whether or not.
They should pay the bills they've already racked up.
If congressional Republicans refused to pay America's bills on time.
Social Security checks and veterans benefits will be delayed.
We might not be able to pay our troops -- -- our contracts with small business owners.
Food inspectors air traffic controllers.
Specialists who track down lose nuclear materials wouldn't get their paychecks.
Investors around the world will ask if the United States of America is in fact -- -- -- Markets could go haywire interest rates would spike for anybody who borrows money every homeowner with a mortgage every student with a college loan.
Every small business owner wants to grow -- -- It would be.
A self inflicted wound on the economy.
It would -- -- our growth Mike took us into recession.
Would probably increase our deficit.
So even entertain the idea of this -- of the United States of America not paying its bills.
As the speaker said two years ago.
It would be and I'm quoting speaker Boehner now a financial disaster not only for us but for the worldwide economy.
So we got to pay our -- And Republicans in congress have two choices here they can act responsibly and pay.
America's -- -- they can act irresponsibly and put America through another economic crisis.
But they will not collect -- Ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy.
The financial well being of the American people is not leverage to be used.
The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not -- bargaining chip.
And they better -- quickly because time is running short.
Last summer -- in congress even flirted with this idea -- triple -- credit rating was downgraded for the first time in our history.
Our business has created the fewest jobs of any month in nearly the past three years.
And ironically the whole fiasco.
Actually added to the depths.
-- it shouldn't be surprising given all this talk with the American people think Washington is hurting rather than helping.
The country at the moment.
They -- the represented consumed with partisan brinksmanship over paying our bills.
Well they overwhelmingly wants to focus on growing the economy and creating more jobs.
Let's finish this debate.
Let's give our businesses and the world the certain date that our economy and our reputation our stole second tonight.
We pay our bills we handle our business.
And then we can move off because America has lot to do.
Got to create more jobs got a boost.
The wages of those who have work we've got to reach for energy independence we've got to reform our immigration system.
We've got to give our children the best education possible and we've got to do everything we can't.
To protect them from the horrors of gun violence.
And let me say -- grateful to vice president Vice President Biden.
For his work on -- this.
And for his proposals which.
I'm going to be reviewing today and I will address the next few days and I intend to vigorously pursue.