In the last news conference of his first term, President Barack Obama said on Monday that the USA is not a “deadbeat nation”.
"The issue here is whether or not America pays its bills. This is not a complicated concept. ..You don't go out to dinner and eat all you want and then leave without paying the check."
Obama said that Congress should pay for services that have been rendered. He called for Congress to raise the debt ceiling; not doing so would be a "self-inflicted wound on the economy."
"To even entertain the idea [of not raising the debt ceiling], is absurd. They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy."
President Obama declared that the nation is poised for a good year. He also made the case that his administration has made a good start for deficit reduction. He reiterated that he's open to making modest adjustments to Medicare and other entitlements, but we also need more revenue. Americans want Washington to get our books in order in "a balanced way."
On gun control the president was asked about the probability of passing an assault weapons ban. Obama said he expected Congress to "examine their own conscience" on the matter and come up with something soon.
Obama disclosed that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had already presented him with proposals to combat gun violence and promised to unveil them publicly later this week. He said his package would include a ban on assault weapons and on high-caliber magazines, as well as expanded background checks. But he declined to say how hard he would push for an assault weapons ban, and acknowledged that it and other gun measures might not pass.