President Obama Addresses the Position of the Deficit Negotiations

Today, President Obama delivered remarks to talk about the status of efforts to find a impartial approach to deficit reduction. The President stated that progress has been made, and though we still need to work through some real differences, that even better progress is within reach.

However, he also strained that we can’t afford to do the bare minimum to avoid defaulting on our debt in the short-term, and we must seize the chance to make considerable progress reducing the deficit:

Now, I’ve heard reports that there may be some in Congress who want to do just sufficient to make sure that America avoids defaulting on our debt in the short term, but then wants to kick the can down the road when it comes to solving the larger trouble of our deficit. I don’t share that view. I don’t think the American people sent us here to avoid hard problems. That’s, in fact, what drives them nuts about Washington, when both parties just take the path of least resistance. And I don’t want to do that here.

I believe that right now we’ve got a sole opportunity to do something big -- to undertake our deficit in a way that forces our government to live within its means, that puts our economy on a stronger footing for the future, and still allows us to put in that future.

Most of us previously agree that to truly solve our deficit problem, we need to find trillions in savings over the next decade, and considerably more in the decades that follow. That’s what the bipartisan fiscal commission said, that’s the amount that I put forward in the structure I announced a few months ago, and that’s around the same amount that Republicans have put onward in their own plans. And that’s the kind of considerable progress that we should be aiming for here.