Obama says Washington politics holding back economic growth
WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Barack Obama said Tuesday that America’s economy was poised to break out, but continued to be hindered by what he called self-inflicted wounds from destructive politics in Washington.
In remarks to business leaders at a Wall Street Journal conference, Obama cited policy decisions of his first term in response to the Great Recession that he said have spurred a recovery that could be better.
“America is poised for a breakout,” Obama said. “We are in a good position to compete around the world in the 21st century.”
While stock markets and corporate profits are soaring, he continued, the challenge now was to ensure opportunity for all to address too-high unemployment and stagnating incomes.
In particular, Obama cited the 16-day government shutdown in October as an example of what he called “self-inflicted” wounds caused by dysfunctional politics in Washington.
“We have to stop governing by crisis in this town,” Obama said, making clear he blamed Republicans for a failure to achieve compromise on major issues such as immigration reform and a comprehensive deficit reduction agreement.
“We should not be injuring ourselves every few months. We should be investing in ourselves,” the President said in advocating a budget approach that includes deficit reduction as well as strategic spending on education, infrastructure and technology.
On immigration, Obama noted that the Democrat-led Senate has passed a reform measure that analysts say would grow the economy and shrink deficits. However, House Republicans have refused to bring up the Senate plan.
“You wouldn’t turn down a deal that good,” he said. “Congress shouldn’t, either.”