Unless Congress adopts his plans to deal with “income inequality,” racial tensions may get worse, President Obama said in an interview published Saturday by the New York Times.
“If we don’t do anything, then growth will be slower than it should be. Unemployment will not go down as fast as it should. Income inequality will continue to rise,” he said.
“Racial tensions won’t get better; they may get worse, because people will feel as if they’ve got to compete with some other group to get scraps from a shrinking pot. If the economy is growing, everybody feels invested, ” he added.
In recent decades, Obama said, Americans have lost a sense of security, believing they are being denied a chance at upward mobility.
He also tied global warming to the economy and Republicans’ unwillingness to immediately adopt his proposals.
“And so a lot of the other issues that we’re talking about — whether it’s climate change or immigration, or how we manage our trade relations — all those are eased if we’ve got our economic act together,” he said.
He scolded Congress for moving slowly, and promised unilateral action if Republicans did not adopt his proposals.
“I’m not just going to sit back if the only message from some of these folks is no on everything, and sit around and twiddle my thumbs for the next 1,200 days,” he said.
Obama also said in the same interview he’s not concerned about criticisms that he’s usurping his Constitutional authority since “very few” of his critics are lawyers.
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