WASHINGTON, July 27 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama said Saturday "members of both parties" agree economic growth requires a long-term strategy and criticized "slash-and-burn partisanship."
In his weekly radio address, the president repeated much of what he said in speeches this week, noting the economy has added 7.2 million jobs, healthcare costs "are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years," and the federal deficit is falling "at the fastest rate in 60 years," as the U.S. economy recovers from the deepest recession since the Great Depression.
"Thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we've cleared away the rubble of crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth," he said.
"But as any middle-class family will tell you, we're not yet where we need to be," Obama said. "Trends that have been eroding middle-class security for decades -- technology that makes some jobs obsolete, global competition that makes others moveable, growing inequality and the policies that perpetuate it -- all these things still exist, and in some ways, the recession made them worse."
The president said Washington has "taken its eye off the ball," and he blamed "an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals."
"I know there are members of both parties who understand what's at stake, and I'm open to ideas from across the political spectrum, as long as they meet the test of strengthening the prospects of hard-working families," Obama said.
Congressional Republicans are currently discussing strategies for repealing the Affordable Health Act, commonly known as Obamacare, but Obama said repealing the healthcare reform law -- or "gutting critical investments in our future, threatening to default on the bills this country has already racked up, or shutting down the government just because I'm for keeping it open -- none of those thing add up to an economic plan. None of that will take this country where it needs to go."
The president said Republicans and Democrats can succeed "if we work together."
"It won't be easy, but if we take a few bold steps -- and if Washington is willing to shake off its complacency and set aside some of the slash-and-burn partisanship we've seen in recent years -- our economy will keep getting stronger," he said.