President Barack Obama pointed out, during a press conference at the White House today, that the issue on debt ceiling is about paying the bills, not authorizing more spending. This is the final press conference of the President on his first term in office. He will be sworn into office for his second term on Sunday.
The President emphasized, “These are bills that have already been racked up, and we need to pay them. So, while I’m willing to compromise and find common ground over how to reduce our deficits, America cannot afford another debate with this Congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they’ve already racked up.”
According to Obama, the Republican Congress could act responsibly by paying America’s bills or become irresponsible and put the country into another economic crisis. The President also emphasized that the economy is growing, and businesses are creating new jobs.
In addition, President Obama reiterated that the debt reduction cannot be resolved through spending cuts alone, and it is not a recipe for growth. According to him, the Government needs more revenue through tax reforms. Once again, Obama stated his agenda on closing the tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans.
President Obama stated, “If we combine 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 going to help us grow.” Obama also said that he is open to making adjustments to programs like Medicare, and encouraged the lawmakers to resolve the problem.
Obama also discussed some of his priorities in the future including creating more jobs, education, energy independence, immigration reform, and gun violence.
The President said he will pursue the issue on gun violence vigorously, and he will review the proposals submitted by Vice President, Joe Biden, today. Obama added that Biden and some members of the cabinet met with stakeholders in the gun industry regarding gun violence, and he received a list of sensible, common sense steps to be undertaken to ensure that the violence in Newtown will not be repeated.