U.S. still creditworthy: Obama

By Wire services | August 8, 2011 | Last updated on August 8, 2011
1 min read

U.S. President Barrack Obama called on Congress to create more jobs and stimulate the economy, while dismissing Friday’s downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poors.

“We didn’t need a rating agency to tell us we need a balanced long-term approach to deficit reduction,” he told reporters. “Markets will rise and fall. But this is the United States of America. No matter what some agency may say, we’ve always been and always will be a triple-A country.”

Obama said he hoped the decision by Standard & Poor’s would at least give Congress a renewed sense of urgency to tackle debt problems. He said that must be done mainly by taking on the politically difficult issues of reforming taxes and social benefit programs in the coming months.

“Here’s the good news: Our problems are imminently solvable,” he said. “Our challenge is the need to tackle our deficits over the long run.”

He called for higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans and reform of Medicare and Social Security programs. Obama said he will offer his own recommendations for reining in debt in the coming weeks.

He then turned to job creation, calling for the extension of payroll tax cuts “as soon as possible” and continued provision of extended unemployment benefits. If Congress fails to enact these measures, it could mean 1 million fewer jobs, he warned.

He pointed out that these were not “big government” proposals, and that the Republican Party has supported such measures in the past.

Wire services