Obama Blames Economy on ‘Bad Decisions’

Obama Blames Economy on ‘Bad Decisions’

9:49 AM, FEB 2, 2013 • BY DANIEL HALPER
 In his weekly address, President Barack Obama blamed the economic problems on “bad decisions.”
 “[T]his 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,” said Obama, presumably referring to the uptick in unemployment from 7.8 percent to 7.9 percent and the news that the economy contracted in the final quarter of last year.

The president did not name which decisions were “bad,” and who specifically was to blame for those “bad decisions.” But he did blame Washington. 

“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.  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.  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,” said Obama.

Obama reiterated his support for a “balanced approach” going forward.

“We all agree that it’s critical to cut unnecessary spending.  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,” said Obama.

“What we need instead is a balanced approach; an approach that says let’s cut what we can’t afford but let’s make the investments we can’t afford to live without.  Investments in education and infrastructure, research and development – the things that will help America compete for the best jobs and new industries.”

Medical Company Blames ‘Obamacare’ For Layoffs Of Nearly 100 People

February 1, 2013 2:01 PM
President Barack Obama signs the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va., on March 30, 2010. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama signs the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va., on March 30, 2010. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (CBSDC) — A medical company is blaming President Obama’s health care law for the layoffs of nearly 100 people.

Smith & Nephew says a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices in the “Obamacare” law caused the layoffs in the Memphis and Andover, Mass., offices.

“The nearly $30 billion tax on medical devices that took effect Jan. 1, 2013, has impacted a number of companies across the U.S.,” the company said in a statement to WHBQ-TV.

Joe Metzger, senior vice president of corporate communications for the company, tells theMemphis Business Journalthat they were “not immune” to the tax burden.

“Unfortunately, and in order to absorb this cost burden into our business, this has meant less than 100 positions have been made redundant across various departmental functions in our Tennessee and Massachusetts sites,” Metzger told the Business Journal. “The company is providing the affected employees with a comprehensive severance package and outplacement support.”

The Business Journal reports that the company announced last February it would lay off 7 percent of its workforce worldwide.

The tax took effect on Jan. 1.

Unemployment rises again.

The new year started off with an old story: Employment grew again in January but not at a pace able to lower the jobless rate.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 157,000 for the first month of 2013 while the unemployment rate edged higher to 7.9 percent, news unlikely to alter the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy or instill confidence that the recovery is gaining steam.

Economists were looking for 160,000 net new jobs created with the unemployment rate holding steady at 7.8 percent.

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