Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

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January 14, 2013

President Obama's end-of-term press conference

Washington, D.C. —  

The following is a transcript, provided by the White House, of President Barack Obama's press conference earlier today (Monday, Jan. 14). 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Please have a seat, everybody.  Good morning.  I thought it might make sense to take some questions this week, as my first term comes to an end.
 
It’s been a busy and productive four years.  And I expect the same for the next four years.  I intend to carry out the agenda that I campaigned on -- an agenda for new jobs, new opportunity, and new security for the middle class.
 
Right now, our economy is growing, and our businesses are creating new jobs, so we are poised for a good year if we make smart decisions and sound investments -- and as long as Washington politics don’t get in the way of America’s progress.
 
As I said on the campaign, one component to growing our economy and broadening opportunity for the middle class is shrinking our deficits in a balanced and responsible way.  And for nearly two years now, I’ve been fighting for such a plan -- one that would reduce our deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade, which would stabilize our debt and our deficit in a sustainable way for the next decade.  That would be enough not only to stop the growth of our debt relative to the size of our economy, but it would make it manageable so it doesn’t crowd out the investments we need to make in people and education and job training and science and medical research -- all the things that help us grow.
 
 
 
Now, step by step, we’ve made progress towards that goal.  Over the past two years, I’ve signed into law about $1.4 trillion in spending cuts.  Two weeks ago, I signed into law more than $600 billion in new revenue by making sure the wealthiest Americans begin to pay their fair share.  When you add the money that we’ll save in interest payments on the debt, all together that adds up to a total of about $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the past two years -- not counting the $400 billion already saved from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

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