(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama used his Saturday radio address to press for an end to "this Republican shutdown" and for an increase in the debt limit.
"It wouldn't be wise," he said, "to just kick the debt-ceiling can down the road for a couple months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season. Because damage to America's sterling credit rating wouldn't just cause global markets to go haywire; it would become more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money. Students paying for college. Newlyweds buying a home. It would amount to a new tax -- a Republican default tax -- on every family and business in America."
Obama said once the debt ceiling is raised and the shutdown is over, "there's a lot we can accomplish together."
He called for more job creation at a time when Obamacare is prompting some employers to cut jobs or move workers to part-time. And he called for additional deficit reduction in a "smarter, balanced way," which is code for tax hikes.
"I know you're frustrated by what you see in your nation's capital right now. But because it's easy to get lost in or give up on the political back-and-forth, I want you to remember: this is not normal. Our government is closed for the first time in 17 years. A political party is risking default for the first time since the 1700s. This is not normal. That's why we have to put a stop to it. Not only because it's dangerous, but because it saps everyone's faith in our extraordinary system of self-government. And that hurts us all."
The president decried the "constant brinksmanship" that impedes job creation and economic growth: "And the longer it goes on -- the more frequently this brinksmanship is inflicted -- the more we'll see markets react, businesses put off plans to spend and hire, and unemployment claims tick up.
Obama also urged buinesses to give furloughed government workers a break, as their regular paychecks are delayed: "And I want to thank all the neighbors and local business owners who've shown acts of kindness to these Americans who serve their country. I ask that same spirit of citizenship from lenders who do business with these folks. Because they're being punished enough through no fault of their own."
"So let's pass a budget, put people back to work, and end this Republican shutdown."
Obama said the nation should be focusing its energy on job-creation, education, and immigration reform. "And as always, this country works better when we work together."