President Obama says the country is no longer in the position to afford any more fights over budget deficit now or in the future, and the upcoming debates need to be addressed without wasting much time.
Obama, who flew back to Hawaii to resume his holidays shortly after the fiscal cliff deal was approved by both the Senate and the Congress, said in his radio and internet address that the newly signed legislation is just one step towards saving the economy and there is still a lot of work left.
"We still need to do more to put Americans back to work while also putting this country on a path to pay down its debt, and our economy can't afford more protracted showdowns or manufactured crises along the way," he said in the address, broadcast on Saturday.
"Because even as our businesses created 2 million new jobs last year - including 168,000 new jobs last month - the messy brinkmanship in Congress made business owners more uncertain and consumers less confident," Obama said
The president anticipates new battles with the Congress over raising the country’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit as well as more than $100 billion in automatic spending cuts for the military and domestic programs, which have now been delayed for two more months under the latest compromise.
Obama said that he will not compromise over his insistence that the Congress lifts the federal debt ceiling because the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic and Americans families and businesses cannot afford such a dangerous game to be played once again.
If elected officials from both parties “focus on the interests of our country above the interests of party, I’m convinced we can cut spending and raise revenue in a manner that reduces our deficit and protects the middle class,” Obama said.
The fiscal cliff deal is a victory for Obama, whose entire election campaign was focused on his promise to raise the taxes on the rich. However, Republicans have indicated that there is another fight coming over the debt ceiling.
Dave Camp from Michigan says that as attention turns again to the debt limit, a responsible way must be identified to stop the wasteful spending in Washington. "Many of our Democrat colleagues just don't seem to get it. Throughout the fiscal cliff discussions, the president and the Democrats who control Washington repeatedly refused to take any meaningful steps to make Washington live within its means," Camp said.