US President Barack Obama expressed confidence Saturday that Republicans and Democrats will be able to find a way to cut the nation’s burgeoning budget deficit, arguing that no program can be considered off limits in the process.
“I?m confident that the Democrats and Republicans in Congress can find a way to give some ground, make some hard choices, and put their shoulders to the wheel to get this done for the sake of our country,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.
He said, however, that the country’s deficit can be cut while making investments in education, research and technology that create jobs.
“It means we will have to make tough decisions and scale back worthy programs,” the president noted. “And nothing can be off limits, including spending in the tax code, particularly the loopholes that benefit very few individuals and corporations.”
The comments came after crucial high-level talks on raising the US borrowing limit collapsed last week after Republicans walked out, accusing the White House of provoking an impasse with demands to raise spending and taxes.
The move sparked fears that Congress will fail to raise the 14.29 trillion dollar debt ceiling by an August 2 deadline and cause the United States to default on its obligations, sending shockwaves through the global economy.
Republicans, who won the House of Representatives last November amid public anxiety over government debt, will only back raising the borrowing limit in return for steep cuts in the annual deficit set to hit $1.6 trillion this year.
Obama, who has been trying to put the talks back on track, said government has to start living within its means.
“We have to cut the spending we can?t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs,” he declared.