Five years after the start of the global economic crisis, President Obama has used the anniversary for a blistering attack on his political opponents warning it would be the “height of irresponsibility” for Republican lawmakers to push the country back into recession:
He recalled those dark days: “By the time I took office, the economy was shrinking by an annual rate of more than eight percent. Our businesses were shedding 800,000 jobs each month. It was a perfect storm. Over the last three and a half years, our businesses have added 7.5 million new jobs. The unemployment rate has come down, our housing market is healing, our financial system is safer – but, that’s not the end of the story. As any middle-class family will tell you, or anybody who is striving to get into the middle-class, we are not yet where we need to be, and that’s what we’ve got to focus on.”
Obama scolded his political opponents for threatening a government shutdown and attempting to attach conditions to funding the budget for the 2014 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
“Let’s stop the threats. Let’s stop the political posturing, let’s keep our government open. Let’s pay our bills on time. Let’s pass a budget,” Obama said.
The warning came as the White House geared up for brutal partisan budget negotiations with Congress.
The slow recovery from recession has been a difficult challenge for Obama, and opinion polls show many Americans are not convinced the economy is on the mend.
Only one-third believe the economic system is more secure now than in 2008, and 52 percent said they disapproved of Obama’s handling of the economy, according to a Pew Research Center poll.