Aug. 11 - U.S. President Obama said the debt woes in Europe were hitting the U.S. but says other factors impacting economy were self-inflicted. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama, on a visit to a battery plant in Michigan, offered assurances about the U.S. economy while stressing that some factors impacting growth are beyond the control of the U.S. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama, saying: (English) "Europe is dealing with all sorts of financial turmoil that is lapping upon our shores. japan's tragic earthquake hurt economies around the globe. including ours, cut off supply chains that were very important to us. And all of this has further challenged our economy. And as we have seen it is playing out in our stock market, wild swings, up and down." On Thursday, the stock market ended the day sharply higher in a week that has witnessed some wide swings, after rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded U.S. debt last week. Obama says it was a downgrade that could have been avoided. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama, saying: (English) "This downgrade you have been reading about, it could have been entirely avoided, if there had been a willingness to compromise in Congress. It did didn't happen because we don't have the capacity to pay our bills, It happened happened because Washington doe snot have the capacity to come together and get things done. It was a self inflicted wound. That's why people are frustrated. Maybe you hear it in my voice. That's why I am frustrated. Because you deserve better." On Capitol Hill a 12-member bipartisan deficit panel has now been named to craft a budget agreement by late November or face strongest spending cuts, including defense spending. Obama says he will also be offering weekly economic proposals in an effort to stimulate growth and put more people back to work. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters