A quote from the president the begs for a correction

Posted by mmcmullan on 09/24/2013

President Obama gave a lot of speeches about the economy last week, though most of them got lost in the chatter as the White House and congressional Republicans locked horns over the Obamacare law that’s set to take effect in a few weeks.

That’s a shame. While the House GOP threatens another debt limit crisis or a full-on government shutdown in its last stand against the healthcare overhaul, and the administration trains its full focus on avoiding those scenarios, the real problem holding back an economic recovery – the lack of decent job creation – continues to get short shrift.

So before the president’s remarks on the economic progress his administration has made get lost in the noise of a 24-hour media cycle, let’s take a hot second to focus on one serious doozy that he slipped into his remarks to reporters after meeting with the Export Council, his advisory committee on international trade:

Jason, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think our current account deficit and trade deficits have narrowed as significantly as we've seen in a very long time.

Not exactly, Mr. President. The accounts trade deficit, which includes goods, services, investment flows, and tourism in its totals, is indeed at a recent low point. But our goods trade deficits, on the other hand, are sky high. We were $30.1 billion in the hole in our trading relationship with China during the month of August alone. Our China trade deficit was $312 billion in 2012, and our total goods trade deficit for that whole year was $540 billion.

In an opinion this week for the Hill, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul had this to say about the latest budget battles between the White House and Congress:

The President needs to take action because it's clear Congress won't: Their sole obsession is the debt debate. But that's not what American workers need right now. And if we don’t get people back to work, our trade deficit will increase along with our national debt.

Read the whole Paul opinion here.

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