- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 2, 2013

Obamacare’s troubled rollout still is dominating the headlines, but President Obama on Saturday tried to change the conversation and turn attention toward his priorities in budget negotiations with congressional Republicans.

In his weekly address, the president stressed he’s willing to “go anywhere and do anything” to grow the economy, create jobs and maintain government investment in areas such as education.

“Priorities. Choices. That’s what this is about. And the stakes for the middle class couldn’t be higher,” Mr. Obama said. “If we don’t pick the right priorities now, make the right choices now, we could hinder growth and opportunity for decades, and leave our children with something else.”

The president also took aim at the sequestration cuts — put in place as part of 2011’s Budget Control Act — which he says “hasn’t helped our economy grow; it’s held it back.”

Mr. Obama’s address was short on specifics, but it did offer clues to the administration’s overall approach to budget negotiations.

As part of last month’s deal to end the government shutdown and raise the nation’s debt limit, congressional leaders agreed to sit down for formal fiscal talks. The White House is stressing that it won’t accept a spending plan that simply makes more cuts.

Instead, the administration is looking for certain tax hikes — such as the elimination of so-called “loopholes” for energy companies — and increased spending in areas such as infrastructure, education and others.

“Congress should pass a budget that cuts things we don’t need, and closes wasteful tax loopholes that don’t help create jobs so that we can free up resources for the things that actually do create jobs and growth,” Mr. Obama said. “The question can’t be how much more we can cut; it’s got to be how many more jobs we can create, how many more kids we can educate, and how much more shared prosperity we can generate.”



Click to Read More

Click to Hide