February 26th, 2011
07:00 AM ET
Obama: "we cannot allow gridlock to prevail"
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In today's weekly address, President Obama once again pledged a freeze on annual domestic spending over the next five years, a freeze he claims, "that would cut the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, bringing this kind of spending to its lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was President."
This despite PolitiFact's rating of "false" earlier this week.
The president also called on Congress to avoid gridlock during budget debates next week to avoid a government shutdown.
"For the sake of our people and our economy, we cannot allow gridlock to prevail. Both Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate have said they believe it’s important to keep the government running while we work together on a plan to reduce our long-term deficit," he said.
"There will be plenty of debates and disagreements, and neither party will get everything it wants. Both sides will have to compromise," he added.
Read the remarks as prepared, below the fold.
Over the last month, I’ve been traveling the country, talking to Americans about how we can out-educate, out-innovate, and out-build the rest of the world. Doing that will require a government that lives within its means, and cuts whatever spending we can afford to do without. But it will also require investing in our nation’s future – training and educating our workers; increasing our commitment to research and technology; building new roads and bridges, high-speed rail and high-speed internet.
In cities and towns throughout America, I’ve seen the benefits of these investments. The schools and colleges of Oregon are providing Intel – the state’s largest private employer – with a steady stream of highly-educated workers and engineers. At Parkville Middle School outside of Baltimore, engineering is the most popular subject, thanks to outstanding teachers who are inspiring students to focus on their math and science skills.
In Wisconsin, a company called Orion is putting hundreds of people to work manufacturing energy-efficient lights in a once-shuttered plant. And in the small community of Marquette, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, widely accessible high-speed internet has allowed students and entrepreneurs to connect to the global economy. One small business, a third-generation, family-owned clothing shop called Getz’s is now selling their products online, which has helped them double their workforce and make them one of America’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies in a recent listing.
Each of these places reminds us that investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure are an essential down payment on our future. But they also remind us that the only way we can afford these investments is by getting our fiscal house in order. Just like any family, we have to live within our means to make room for things we absolutely need.
That’s why I’ve called for a freeze on annual domestic spending over the next five years – a freeze that would cut the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, bringing this kind of spending to its lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was President. Just to be clear, that’s lower than it was under the past three administrations, and lower than it was under Ronald Reagan.
Now, putting this budget freeze in place will require tough choices. That’s why I’ve frozen salaries for hardworking civil servants for three years, and proposed cutting programs I care about deeply, like community action programs in low-income neighborhoods. I’m not taking these steps lightly – but I’m taking them because our economic future demands it.
Still, a freeze in annual domestic spending is just a start. If we’re serious about tackling our long-run fiscal challenges, we also need to cut excessive spending wherever we find it – in defense spending, spending in Medicare and Medicaid, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes.
I’m willing to consider any serious ideas to help us reduce the deficit – no matter what party is proposing them. But instead of cutting the investments in education and innovation we need to out-compete the rest of the world, we need a balanced approach to deficit reduction. We all need to be willing to sacrifice, but we can’t sacrifice our future.
Next week, Congress will focus on a short-term budget. For the sake of our people and our economy, we cannot allow gridlock to prevail. Both Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate have said they believe it’s important to keep the government running while we work together on a plan to reduce our long-term deficit.
Given that, I urge and expect them to find common ground so we can accelerate, not impede, economic growth. It won’t be easy. There will be plenty of debates and disagreements, and neither party will get everything it wants. Both sides will have to compromise.
That’s what it will take to do what’s right for our country. And I look forward to working with members of both parties to produce a responsible budget that cuts what we can’t afford, sharpens America’s competitive edge in the world, and helps us win the future. Thanks everyone, and have a nice weekend.
If you check out politifact.com/personalities/barack-obama/ you will see that Barry does not tell the truth. In fact more than half of his statements are false.
Some of my favorites are ...
"We've excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs."
"The vast majority of the money I got was from small donors all across the country."
Under the White House’s budget proposal, "we will not be adding more to the national debt" by the middle of the decade.
"The Bush administration had been "giving (auto companies) billions of dollars and just asking nothing in return."
I love that ... you know Barry is right (sorta) The interst on the National debt will increase it ... we have to borrow money to pay the interest on our borrowed money ..... It a liberal thing .... you would not understand .... (I don't either) 😉
Cannot allow gridlock to prevail? LOL.... Barry ... you are gridlock!
@Bill; Where were all of the 'GRID-LOCKERS', and 'HELL NO, WE WON'T-ers' during the BUSH administration when most of the nations problems today, are spawn from bad decisions, failed policies, due to bad intelligence;'alledgedly', and put in place? Too bad we didn't have all of you blogging politicians back then, picking-apart each and every idea and decision; stonewalling, critiquing, gridlocking, fearmongering, and polarizing every step that administration made, including it's well known faulty elections!
Still living in the past Liz. Barry is president now.
I believe we need to have the republicans and the democrats work together to get us out of the mess that the rich Reagan and Bush's put AMERICA IN STOP borrowing money -concentrate on clean energy stop cutting healthy trees down collect all the wasted plastic container's melt them down and use them to form 2+4's all the lumber for step's and housing that will never deteirate put America back to work using the waste to build new saving the tree's that help clean aod filter are atmosphere People have gotten greedy the onses that rich just keep getting richer and poor get poorer oyer 75 % of the politicians are allready well off they need to stop and help the little guy's get some breathing room Jurt my opinion I COULD BE WRONG
What are you basing your statement "rich just keep getting richer and poor get poorer." I would argue that most poor people in this country have more than the poor did in the past. Most have access to clean water, government heath care, free education, food stamps, gov paid housing, lower cost tv, cell phones, access to public library computers. How are they worse off than the poor in the past that had truly nothing?
The rich may be getting rich but that is what rich have always done. It has to do with the way they make their money. From capital not direct pay. The create capital that has value on the market.
The past seems to have a way of pointing to the future, Jay! It's usually a great indicator of the future. I just asked where was all of the fearmongering concern and political rhetoric we're hearing, reading and seeing now when we were at least 10 years younger? The re-birthing of our national problems and bankrupcy was initiated then; continued on through the campaign and still is rather unstable, due to the attempts being made to stabilize it! I don't remember it being as blown up as it is today, do you?
There is no way I am going to let the TeaBaggers, and GOP both engaged in teirorrst acts be in charge of this country. So I will vote for Obama, but thing the Tea Party as much as a loathed them did mobilize and held there government officials accountable, we need to raise the same type of hell when Obama lets us down. We should mobilze and let him know enough Either but a democrate or get out!