Obama blames economic contraction on ‘bad decisions in Washington’

President Obama blamed the recent contraction of the U.S. economy on “bad decisions in Washington” in his weekly address.


The national economy shrank by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to figures released this week by the Commerce Department. The contraction was an unexpected reversal of months of modest economic growth since the end of the recession in mid-2009.

Obama said in his address that the dip was the fault of “bad decisions” being made in Washington.

“We began this year with economists and business leaders saying that we are poised to grow in 2013,” he said. “But this week, we also received the first estimate of America’s economic growth over the last few months. And it reminded us that bad decisions in Washington can get in the way of our economic progress.”

Obama said there were “real signs of progress” in the 2013 economic outlook, citing increases in home prices and car sales.

But he said the unexpected economic contraction showed the wisdom of his “balanced” approached to budget negotiations with Congress.

“We all agree that it’s critical to cut unnecessary spending,” Obama said. “But we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. It hasn’t worked in the past, and it won’t work today. It could slow down our recovery. It could weaken our economy. And it could cost us jobs – now, and in the future."

Obama said if Congress follows his lead on the economic decisions, “2013 can be a year of solid growth, more jobs, and higher wages.

“But that will only happen if we put a stop to self-inflicted wounds in Washington,” he warned.

“Everyone in Washington needs to focus not on politics but on what’s right for the country; on what’s right for you and your families,” Obama continued. “That’s how we’ll get our economy growing faster. That’s how we’ll strengthen our middle class. And that’s how we’ll build a country that rewards the effort and determination of every single American.”