Obama: ‘What I Won’t Accept is Opposition for Opposition’s Sake’

January 30, 2010

(ChattahBox)—-President Obama used his weekly radio address on Saturday, to draw attention to new proposals to rein in our nation’s mushrooming deficit. Obama also pledged that 2010 would be devoted to job growth and he ticked off a series of new tax incentives to make it easier for small business to hire new workers. He also celebrated Friday’s positive economic report, showing nearly a 6 percent spike in GDP, during the last quarter of 2009, which is the largest increase than at any time in the past six years. “[I]t’s an affirmation of the difficult decisions we made last year to pull our financial system back from the brink and get our economy moving again, said Obama in his weekly address.”

Obaama also praised the Senate passage of the so-called Paygo measure, which mandates a pay-as-you-go approach when adding to certain parts of the federal budget. The president noted that every single Republican inconceivably voted against the Paygo bill. And continuing his theme from his appearance at the Republicans’ Baltimore retreat on Friday, he slammed the Republican lawmakers for obstructionism at the expense of the American people.

President Obama pointed to the federal stimulus package, as having a positive impact on our stagnant economy. “This is a sign of progress. And it’s an affirmation of the difficult decisions we made last year to pull our financial system back from the brink and get our economy moving again.” [...] “That’s why job creation will be our number one focus in 2010. We’ll put more Americans back to work rebuilding our infrastructure all across the country.”

But at the same time, he also recognized that many Americans are still not benefiting from the improvements in the economy:

“But when so many people are still struggling – when one in ten Americans still can’t find work, and millions more are working harder and longer for less – our mission isn’t just to grow the economy. It’s to grow jobs for folks who want them, and ensure wages are rising for those who have them.”

Obama noted that without reducing our nation’s expanding deficit, the economic recovery could be affected:

“But as we work to create jobs, it is critical that we rein in the budget deficits we’ve been accumulating for far too long – deficits that won’t just burden our children and grandchildren, but could damage our markets, drive up our interest rates, and jeopardize our recovery right now.”

And the passage of the Paygo bill will help to rein in the federal budget:

“That’s why I’m pleased that the Senate has just restored the pay-as-you-go law that was in place back in the 1990s. It’s no coincidence that we ended that decade with a $236 billion surplus. But then we did away with PAYGO – and we ended the next decade with a $1.3 trillion deficit. Reinstating this law will help get us back on track, ensuring that every time we spend, we find somewhere else to cut.”

Obama then directly addressed the ways to reduce the current deficit and the damaging obstructionism of the minority Republican Party:

“Finally, I’ve called for a bi-partisan Fiscal Commission – a panel of Democrats and Republicans who would sit down and hammer out concrete deficit-reduction proposals by a certain deadline. Because we’ve heard plenty of talk and a lot of yelling on TV about deficits, and it’s now time to come together and make the painful choices we need to eliminate those deficits.”

“This past week, 53 Democrats and Republicans voted for this commission in the Senate. But it failed when seven Republicans who had co-sponsored this idea in the first place suddenly decided to vote against it.”

President Obama welcomes principled stands and negotiations in policy differences in good faith, but not obstructionism, for the sole purpose of damaging the presidency in advance of mid-term elections:

“But what I won’t accept is changing positions because it’s good politics. What I won’t accept is opposition for opposition’s sake. We cannot have a serious discussion and take meaningful action to create jobs and control our deficits if politicians just do what’s necessary to win the next election instead of what’s best for the next generation.”

“I’m ready and eager to work with anyone who’s serious about solving the real problems facing our people and our country. I welcome anyone who comes to the table in good faith to help get our economy moving again and fulfill this country’s promise. That’s why we were elected in the first place. That’s what the American people expect and deserve. And that’s what we must deliver.”

The full text and video of Obama’s weekly address can be found here.


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