News / USA

    President Says Spending Cuts Hurting US Economy

    President Barack Obama addressing press conference, Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Washington,April 30, 2013.President Barack Obama addressing press conference, Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Washington,April 30, 2013.
    x
    President Barack Obama addressing press conference, Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Washington,April 30, 2013.
    President Barack Obama addressing press conference, Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Washington,April 30, 2013.
    VOA News
    U.S. President Barack Obama says the government spending cuts that took effect in March are hurting the American economy.
     
    "It's slowed our growth," Obama said at a White House news conference Tuesday. "It's thrown people out of work."
     
    The spending cuts came as Obama and Republican opponents in Congress failed to agree on plans for taxes and spending. The impasse meant automatic cuts for government programs and furloughs of some government workers. About 1,500 air traffic controllers were laid off each day last week until Congress reversed the action as flight delays mounted.
     
    As he has in the past, the president called on Congress to reach an agreement that could cut the country's burgeoning national debt, while investing in programs to fix the nation's infrastructure and promote education and research. But the White House and Republicans differ sharply over what financial policies the government should adopt.
     
    Earlier in the day, new reports showed the U.S. economy — the world's largest — is improving on some fronts. U.S. home prices rose the most in seven years in February, gaining more than 9 percent in the previous 12 months. Economists say the data from Case-Shiller is probably evidence that the housing market is strengthening. A separate report showing a decline in foreclosures also points to an improving housing market.
     
    CoreLogic data shows foreclosures in March were down nearly 16 percent from the same month a year earlier.
     
    The improving housing market, and generally rising stock market prices, may be the reason that U.S. consumer confidence moved sharply higher in April. Economists track consumer confidence for clues about the consumer spending that drives most U.S. economic activity. The owners of new, small businesses also report increasing confidence. A Kauffman Foundation study shows most people running start-up businesses think profitability will improve over the next year.

    But the U.S. economy is still plagued by high unemployment, which is expected to stay at 7.6 percent this month. A report from Accenture says four out of 10 recent college graduates say they are underemployed, taking jobs that do not require the degrees they earned and paid for.
     
    This and other data are likely part of the discussion Tuesday and Wednesday as top officials of the U.S. central bank meet to assess the economy and decide how much they will try to stimulate it with low interest rates and other policies.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora