- Reuters -
President Barack Obama gave his sternest warning yet about the need to contain rising U.S. deficits, saying on Wednesday that if government debt were to pile up too much, it could lead to a double-dip recession.
With the U.S. unemployment rate at 10.2 percent, Obama told Fox News his administration faces a delicate balance of trying to boost the economy and spur job creation while putting the economy on a path toward long-term deficit reduction.
His administration was considering ways to accelerate economic growth, with tax measures among the options to give companies incentives to hire, Obama said in the interview with Fox conducted in Beijing during his nine-day trip to Asia.
"It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession," he said.
Fox News, which released a transcript of the interview, showed that comment by Obama on Wednesday morning and said the full discussion would be broadcast later in the day.
Obama is scheduled to hold a forum with U.S. business leaders and financial experts on Dec. 3 to discuss ways to lift the economy.
He said he had not decided yet whether any measures to boost the economy should be deficit neutral, with that being one of the things to be examined at the forum.
"Our first job was to get the economy to recover. And we're now seeing that," Obama said.
"We've seen economic growth (in the third quarter). We anticipate economic growth next quarter as well. I always said the job growth would lag behind economic growth. The question now is how can we accelerate it."
In an interview with NBC News, Obama said "there are a whole range of ideas out there" about how to kick-start hiring by businesses starting to invest and show profits again. Continued...