President Barack Obama said Wall Street should be concern with the current gridlock in Washington during an exclusive interview with John Harwood of CNBC at the White House.
According to the President, although a stalemate normally happens in the Congress, he emphasized the current shutdown is not the same. He said, “I think this time is different, I think they [Wall Street] should be concerned.”
President Obama explained that it is normal to see Democrats and Republican lawmakers to disagree on issues because the founders designed the government on democracy, but he pointed out, “When you have a situation in which a faction is willing to default on U.S. government’s obligations, then we are in trouble.” He added, “If they are willing to do it now, they are willing to do it later.”
The President explained that he is not willing to give in to Republicans because they had been debating to keep the government open for two months, and they would be doing the same exact thing in the middle of the holiday shopping season. He said businesses will not interested for that to happen. According to him, he wants to stop the fever of governing from crisis to crisis.
“One thing I know that the American people are tired of, and I have to assume businesses are tired of, is this constant governing from crisis to crisis,” according to Pres. Obama. He added that it is necessary to get a budget that allows people to plan over the long-term and enables the government to deal with the fiscal problem in a sensible and reasonable way.
Furthermore, the President expressed his willingness to deal with the Republicans on Obama Care if they want to offer specific recommendations to help improve the delivery of health insurance to people who need it such as those with pre-existing conditions. President Obama said he will be happy to talk to them about it, but he is not willing to negotiate “subject to the threat that somehow America defaults to its obligations.”
According to the President, the current government shutdown was caused by particular faction in the Republican Party, and he believed Democrats are acting responsibly on the situation. He also recognized that in the past the lawmakers in his own party made unreasonable demands in the past.
President Obama thinks that the Wall Street and the CEOs all over the country has the ability to influence lawmakers to stop their misbehavior and resolve the impasse. He said, “It is important for [Wall Street] to recognize that this is going to have a profound impact on our economy and their bottom lines, their employees and their shareholders.”
Moreover, the President said he doesn’t make decisions based on the performance of the stock markets. He also noted that the stock markets are doing well since he took office, but his biggest concern at present is the negative impact of the happenings in Washington on the lives of ordinary people, which is manifested in terms of the stock markets going down.
According to him, he is more concern about growing the economy over the long-term for ordinary Americans, and if the government particularly the Congress will be able to do their two basic jobs as stipulated by the Constitution—to pass a budget and pay its bills.