In an address to the media this morning on the fifth anniversary of the economic collapse, President Obama spoke of the seriousness of the crisis and what his administration had done in response to it. He also ripped the TEApublicans in Congress for their obstruction which he said is jeopardizing our slow and fragile recovery:
“I cannot remember a time when one party promises economic chaos if it cannot get 100 percent of what it wants. That is what is happening right now.”
He was, of course, speaking of the threatened refusal to pass a continuing resolution in order to keep the government running unless it defunds “Obamacare” as well. “You have some Republicans in the House of Representatives are promising to shut down the government of the end of this month if they cannot shut down the Affordable Care Act,” said the President. He continued, “Meanwhile, the law has already helped millions of Americans.” He also pointed out that there is no evidence to back claims from the right that the ACA is holding back the recovery.
Commenting further on the obsession with the repeal, he said, “I understand I will never convince some Republicans about the merits of Obamacare. I understand that, and I am more than willing to work with them where they have specific suggestions that they can show will make the health care system better. Remember, initially this was like repeal and replace the replace thing has gone off to the wayside.”
He then asked a couple of very good questions that the American people should demand that the TEApublicans in Congress answer. He asked, “Are some of these folks really so beholden to one extreme wing of their party that they’re willing to tank the entire economy just because they can’t get either way on this issue?” “Are they really willing to hurt people just to score political points? I hope not.”
He went on to say that the only way to make further progress on deficit reduction is to include tax reforms that does not benefit only the rich and corporations at the expense of the middle class. Going on to say that he had sent a proposal to Congress six weeks ago doing just that, lowering rates and closing loopholes but that they have not responded in any way to that proposal. Saying that he will not accept any tax reform that further impacts on the middle class while benefiting the rich he called on Congress to work with him to do it as they have said they wanted to all along.
The ball is now in Congress’ court and we will have to wait and watch now to see if they are so determined to kill “Obamacare” that they are unconcerned with the consequences to the economy. As Obama pointed out you cannot find a serious economist who will tell you that the way to continue deficit reduction and grow the economy is to shut down the government and not pay our bills.
Watch the clip, courtesy of Mediaite: