President Obama Marks 5-Year Anniversary of Economic Crisis

Obama says Americans need more "ladders of opportunity" to reach middle class.
20:16 | 09/16/13

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Transcript for President Obama Marks 5-Year Anniversary of Economic Crisis
This is a special report from ABC news. The president did address the latest on the shooting at the navy yard this morning at least four people killed ten people injured. The president having made those remarks on the investigation and an address that was already scheduled to talk about the economy and -- five year anniversary. The financial collapse calling the financial collapse in fact a perfect storm just a few moments ago. Let's listen in his remarks now. Rubble from the financial crisis and we've begun to lay a new foundation. For economic growth and prosperity. And in our personal lives having a lot of us. Understand that people tighten their belts shed debt refocused on the effects of really matter. All of this happened because ultimately of the resilience in the grip of the American people. And we should be proud of that and on this five year anniversary we should take note of how far we've come from where we were. Five years ago. But that's not. The end of the story. As any middle class -- we will tell you or anybody who's striving to get in the middle class. We are not yet where we need to be. And that's what we've got to focus all of the remaining work. It needs to be done to strengthen this economy. We need to grow faster we need more good paying jobs we need more broad based prosperity we -- need more letters. Of opportunity for people who are currently. Poor but want to get into the middle class. There's even -- our businesses are creating new jobs and a broken record profits. The top 1%. Of Americans took home 20% of the nation's income last year while the average worker -- -- a -- at all. In tech -- understates the problem most of the games have gone to the top. 110 of 1%. So in many ways the trends that have taken hold over the past few decades of a winner take all economy where. A -- do better and better and better. While her -- else just tread water or loses ground. -- those trends have been made worse by the recession. That's what we should be focused. That's what I'm focused on that's what I know the Americans standing beside me as well as all of you out there are focused -- As congress begins another budget debate. That's what congress should be focused on. How we grow the economy faster -- we create. Better jobs how we do we increase wages and incomes. -- we increase. Opportunity for those been locked out of opportunity -- to recreate. Better retirement security that's what we should be focused on because the stakes for middle class and everybody's fighting to get in the middle class could not be higher. In today's hyper competitive world we have to make. The investments necessary to attract good jobs that pay good wages and offer. High standards of what. And although ultimately our success will depend on all the innovation and hard work. Of our private sector all of that grit and resilience of the American people. Government is gonna have a critical role. And making sure we have an education system that prepares our children our workers -- global economy. The budget congress passes will determine whether we can hire more workers to upgrade our transportation and communications networks. Or fund the kinds of research and development that have always kept America on the cutting edge. So what happens -- -- in Washington makes a difference. What happens up on Capitol Hill is gonna help determine. Not only the pace of our growth. But also -- -- jobs equality of opportunity. For this generation and future generations. The problem is. At the moment. Republicans in congress don't seem to be focused on how to grow the economy and build -- middle class. I say at the moment because I am still hoping. That. A light bulb goes off year. So far. Their budget ideas revolve. Primarily around even deeper cuts to education. Even deeper cuts that would cut. America's scientific research and development. Even deeper cuts to America's infrastructure investment our roads our bridges our schools our energy grid. These aren't the policies that would grow the economy -- -- up policies that would help grow the middle class in fact they do the opposite. Up until now Republicans -- these cuts are. Necessary in the name of fiscal responsibility. But our deficits are now falling. At the fastest rate. Since the end of World War II. A -- -- repeat that. Our deficits are going down faster than any time since before I was born. By the end of this year. By the end of this year we will have cut our deficits. By more than half. Since I took office. But doesn't mean that we don't still have some long term fiscal challenges primarily. Because the population's getting older. And they're using more health care services. And so we've still got some changes that we've got to make and there's not a government agency or program out there that. Still can't be streamlined become more customer friendly. More efficient. So I do believe we should cut up programs that we don't need. We need to fix ones that are work in the way are supposed to or about lived. That are initial mission. We've got to make government faster and more fish but. That's not what is being proposed. By the Republican budgets. Instead. Making necessary changes with a scalpel. So far at least Republicans have chosen to leave in place the so called sequester cuts. -- cost jobs harm growth. Are hurting our military readiness. And top independent economists say this has been. A big drag our recovery this year. Our economy's not growing as -- assured. And we're not creating as many jobs as we should. Because. The sequester some place that's not my opinion that's your opinion -- -- of Canada -- it's. The sequester makes it harder to do what's required. To boost wages for American workers. This economy is still slack. So if Republicans want the economy grow faster create more jobs faster mission want to get rid of it's irresponsible to keep it in place. And if congress is serious about want to grow the economy -- in creating jobs faster. The first order of business must be to pass a sensible budget. It replaces the sequester -- -- balanced plan that is both fiscally sound and fund investments like education and basic research and infrastructure. That we need to grow. -- this is not asking too much. Congress' most fundamental job. -- passing a budget. And congress needs to get it done. Without triggering another crisis. About shutting down our government. Or worse threatening not to pay this country's bills. After all the progress that we've made over these last four -- -- half years. The idea -- reversing that progress. Because of an unwillingness to compromise or because of some ideological agenda is the height of irresponsibility. It's not what the American people need right now. -- -- standing by -- these are people who are small business owners. People who almost lost her -- Young people trying to get a college education and all of them. Went through some real tough times during the recession and in part because of the steps we took. And primarily because of their courage and determination. And hard work. They're a better place now. The last thing they're looking for -- pressed to go back. To the same got a crisis situations that we've had in the past. In the single most important thing we can do to prevent that. As for congress to pass a budget. Without drama. That puts us on. They sound path for growth. Jobs. Better wages better -- A look it's never been easy. To get 535. People. Here in Washington degree audit. And and and you know budget battles and and debates. Those are as old as the republic. It's even harder when you have divided government. And right now we've got Republicans control in the House of Representatives. Democrats controlled senate Democrat in the White House. -- this is always going to be tough. Having said that I cannot remember a time when one faction. Of one party. Promises economic chaos. If it can't get a 100% of what it wants. That's never happened before. But that's what's happening right now. -- some Republicans in the House of Representatives. Who are promising to shut down the government at the end of this month. If they can't shut down the Affordable Care Act. And -- that scheme doesn't work some -- suggested they won't pay. The very bills the congressman. Congress is already run up. Which would cause American default on its debt for the first time in our history. And would create massive economic turmoil. Interest rates on ordinary people would shoot up. Those transactions transactions. That. We don't need the last time. This same crew threatened at this course of action back in 2011. Even the mayor's suggestion. Of default slowed our economic growth. Every your members that. -- -- -- Akamai and especially the whole argument was rendered this because we want to reduce our debt. That doesn't seem to be the focus not now focuses on Obama. So let's put some perspective. The Affordable -- -- has been the law for three and a half years. It passed both houses of congress the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. It was an issue in last year's election and the candidate who called for repeal lost. Republicans in the house have tried to repeal or sabotage at about forty times. They failed every time. Meanwhile the laws already helped millions of Americans. Young people were able to stay other parents plan up until -- -- -- Seniors were getting additional deep discounts on. Their prescription drugs. Ordinary families and small businesses that are getting rebates from insurance companies because now insurance companies. Have to actually spend money on. People's care instead of on administrative costs and see Obama's. A lot of -- -- horror stories there were predicted about. How this was gonna. Shoot rates -- way up and their going to be death panels and all that stuff not stuff happened. And in two weeks. -- -- care it's gonna help millions more people. And there's no serious evidence that the law. Which has helped to keep down the rise in health care cost to their lowest level in fifty years. -- holding back economic growth. So repealing the affordable care. Making -- that thirty million people don't get health insurance and people with a preexisting conditions continue to be locked out of health insurance market. That's not. An agenda for economic growth. Doug median economist who says. That's the number one priority in terms of boosting growth and jobs. In this country. -- not a serious -- And I understand -- I will never convince some Republicans about the merits of a -- I understand that. And I'm more than willing to work with where they've got specific suggestions. The -- show will make our health care system work better. Bremer initially that was -- repeal and replace them. The replacement as governor -- -- to the wayside. -- just repeal. But the larger point is after all that we've been through these past five years after all the work. Americans like those standing behind me have done to come back from the depths of a crisis. For some of these folks really sold. Beholden to one extreme wing of their party -- there -- on the tank the entire economy. Just because they can't get their way on this issue. Are they really want to hurt people just. To score political points. But in case is -- confusion. I will not negotiate over whether or not America keeps its word and meets its obligations. I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States. This country has worked too hard for too long to dig out of a crisis. Just to see their -- representatives here in Washington. Purposely cause another crisis. 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. Let's work together to do what the American people sent us here to do create jobs for our economy expand opportune. That's what we needed to. As far as the budget goes. It's time for responsible. Republicans who share these goals and then there are a number of folks out there who I think. Are decent folks I've got some days disagreement. Disagreements with -- some issues but. I think genuinely want to see the economy -- and want what's best for the American people. It's time for those Republicans to step up and they've got to decide what they want to prioritize. Originally they said they want a deficit reduction as I -- before our deficits are falling fast. The only way to make further long term progress on deficit reduction that doesn't slow growth. Is -- a balanced plan that includes closing tax loopholes that benefit corporations and the wealthiest Americans at the expense of middle class. It's the only way to -- They said that they want an entitlement. -- -- But their leaders haven't put forward serious ideas that wouldn't devastate Medicare or Social Security. And I put forward ideas. For sensible reforms to Medicare and social security and having -- a lot of feedback yet. They said that they wanted tax reform. Remember this was just a few months ago they said well that is going to be -- -- tax reform. Six weeks ago I put Porta plant. But serious people in both parties should be able to support a deal that lowers the corporate tax rate for businesses and manufacturers. Simplifies it for small business owners. As long as we use some of the money that we safe. To invest in the infrastructure our businesses need to create more good jobs. And good wages for middle class folks who work -- these business. My position as the folks in this town won a grand bargain. About a grand bargain for middle class jobs. So -- put forward ideas. Protection. Haven't heard back from. Congress has a couple of weeks. To get this done. If -- focused on what the American people care about faster growth more jobs better future for our kids. I'm confident. It won't happen. And once -- double the budget. Let's focus on the other things that we know can make a difference for middle class stamps. Lowering the cost of college. Finishing the job of immigration reform. Taking up the work of tax reform to make the system fair and promoting. More investment in the United States. If we follow the strategy I'm playing up for our entire economy and if Washington -- just act with the same. Urgency and common purpose that we felt five years ago. Our economy will be stronger a year from now five years now a decade from -- That's my priority. All these folks standing -- me. In her body out there -- less that's my priority. I -- my last election. My only interest at this point making sure the economy is move in the way it needs to so we've got kind of broad based. Growth that has always been the hallmark. Of this country. As long as I've got privilege of serving as -- president I will spent every moment of every day I've left. Fighting to restore. Security and opportunity for the middle class. And to give everyone who works our chance to get it. Thank your body god bless your outlets. And that the president's remarks on this fifth anniversary and collapse of Lehman Brothers that was the start. One of the major concerns of the Obama administration and it certainly has the president has laid out. -- -- A balance of but -- will be put forward by -- Addressed -- those government mandated cuts that have been made across the board and felt over the past couple of years. This has been a special report from me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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