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."
Obama claimed, "Already, Republicans and Democrats have worked together to reduce our deficits by $2.5 trillion. That’s a good start. But to get the rest of the way, we need a balanced set of reforms."