Obama criticizes Republicans on U.S. economy

* “Times are tough”

* Singles out Boehner

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON, July 24 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama
criticized Republicans on Saturday for supporting economic
policies that “created this mess in the first place” as he
tried to raise election-year doubts about his opponents.

Obama used his weekly radio and Web address to promote his
own prescriptions for the ailing U.S. economy a day after his
administration projected the U.S. jobless rate could average
9.7 percent this year and 9 percent in 2011.

He said an overhaul of financial regulations he signed on
Wednesday would help prevent the type of reckless Wall Street
behavior that triggered the 2008 financial meltdown. He said
tax cuts for small businesses and efforts to promote job growth
in the clean energy sector would pay dividends.

“Now, I can’t tell you that this plan will bring back all
the jobs we lost and restore our economy to full strength
overnight,” Obama said. But he said the country was heading in
the right direction.

Americans weary of recession go to the polls on Nov. 2 to
elect 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 37
members of the U.S. Senate. Both parties anticipate Republicans
will pick up seats against Democratic majorities in both
chambers and could win the House.

Obama singled out House Republican leader John Boehner for
criticism. Boehner wants to repeal and replace Obama’s
healthcare overhaul and keep in place tax cuts for wealthy
Americans that expire at the end of the year.

Some Democrats have also questioned whether those tax cuts
should be allowed to expire at a time of economic stress. The
White House wants to extend tax cuts for the middle class but
end the reductions for the wealthy.

“I am confident that we are finally headed in the right
direction,” Obama said. “We are moving forward. And what we
can’t afford right now is to go back to the same ideas that
created this mess in the first place.”

A CNN-Opinion Research poll released on Friday said 42
percent of Americans approved of Obama’s handling of the
economy, compared with 57 percent who disapproved.

“I know times are tough, I know that the progress we’ve
made isn’t good enough for the millions of Americans who are
still out of work or struggling to pay the bills,” he said.

He said Americans needed to rekindle a spirit of optimism
to get through a time of great challenge and difficulty and not
be afraid of the future.

Stock Market
(Editing by Peter Cooney)

Obama criticizes Republicans on U.S. economy