President Obama urged a balanced approach to the upcoming budget talks, but warned that Congress (read: mostly Republicans) needs to start putting the country ahead of politics, “Everyone in Washington needs to focus not on politics but on what’s right for the country; on what’s right for you and your families.”
President Obama pointed out that things are improving, “We began this year with economists and business leaders saying that we are poised to grow in 2013. And there are real signs of progress: Home prices are starting to climb again. Car sales are at a five-year high. Manufacturing is roaring back. Our businesses created 2.2 million jobs last year. And we just learned that our economy created more jobs over the last few months than economists originally thought.”
But he also noted that we got some bad news this week regarding America’s economic growth over the last few months. He said, “And it reminded us that bad decisions in Washington can get in the way of our economic progress.”
Obama urged a balanced approach to our budget, “We all agree that it’s critical to cut unnecessary spending. But we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. It hasn’t worked in the past, and it won’t work today. It could slow down our recovery. It could weaken our economy. And it could cost us jobs – now, and in the future.”
Recommending Congress cut unnecessary spending, he cautioned, “(L)et’s cut what we can’t afford but let’s make the investments we can’t afford to live without.” Obama continued that we must make investments in America, “Investments in education and infrastructure, research and development – the things that will help America compete for the best jobs and new industries.”
The President lauded the 2.5 trillion in cuts already made, but said we still need a balanced set of reforms that don’t take aim at the vulnerable, “For example, we need to lower the cost of health care in programs like Medicare that are the biggest drivers of our deficit, without just passing the burden off to seniors. And these reforms must go hand-in-hand with eliminating excess spending in our tax code, so that the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations can’t take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.”
The President ended with a warning shot to Republicans to start putting the country ahead of politics, “2013 can be a year of solid growth, more jobs, and higher wages. But that will only happen if we put a stop to self-inflicted wounds in Washington. Everyone in Washington needs to focus not on politics but on what’s right for the country; on what’s right for you and your families. That’s how we’ll get our economy growing faster. That’s how we’ll strengthen our middle class. And that’s how we’ll build a country that rewards the effort and determination of every single American.”
Republicans have yet to pass Obama’s job bills or present any of their own, save for the tax cuts and deregulation they keep trying to pass off as “jobs bills” in spite of bipartisan economists concluding that neither will spur immediate jobs (as anyone who has been waiting for the trickle down already knows). Republicans refuse to invest in America by spending money to spur hiring, even of our veterans.
Patriotism means investing in your country as well as her assets, including our veterans who have already sacrificed enough.