Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Features

January 14, 2013

President Obama's end-of-term press conference

(Continued)

Washington, D.C. —

 
 
 
That's what I want as well.  That's what I've proposed.  And we can get it done, but we're going to have to make sure that people are looking at this in a responsible way rather than just through the lens of politics.
 
 
 
Now, the other congressionally imposed deadline coming up is the so-called debt ceiling -- something most Americans hadn’t even heard of before two years ago.  I want to be clear about this.  The debt ceiling is not a question of authorizing more spending.  Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more spending.  It simply allows the country to pay for spending that Congress has already committed to.  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. 
 
 
 
If congressional Republicans refuse to pay America’s bills on time, Social Security checks and veterans’ benefits will be delayed.  We might not be able to pay our troops, or honor our contracts with small business owners.  Food inspectors, air traffic controllers, specialists who track down loose nuclear material wouldn’t get their paychecks.  Investors around the world will ask if the United States of America is, in fact, a safe bet.  Markets could go haywire.  Interest rates would spike for anybody who borrows money -- every homeowner with a mortgage, every student with a college loan, every small business owner who wants to grow and hire.  It would be a self-inflicted wound on the economy.  It would slow down our growth, might tip us into recession, and ironically, would probably increase our deficit. 

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