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US will remain 'triple-A' in debt rating, says Barack Obama

PTI     August 9, 2011

After a landmark credit downgrade of the US , President Barack Obama on Tuesday asserted America would always remain a "triple-A" country in debt rating and the country's economic problems were "imminently solvable", given the political will.

Speaking for the first time since the Standard and Poor's brought down the US debt rating from AAA to AA+ sending the global stockmarkets tumbling, Obama said he would present his own proposals for overcoming the debt woes in the "coming weeks" and asked the Republicans to accept tax hikes on the most affluent Americans.

"No matter what some agency may say, we have always been and always will be a triple A country," Obama said, arguing global investors still saw the US economy as one of the safest investment destinations in the world.

US shocked after S&P downgrades rating from AAA to AA+

"Here's the good news. Our problems are imminently solvable. And we know what we have to do to solve them," Obama said at the White House.

However, he admitted sharp political differences at home was hampering efforts to fix the US economy's woes and called on all sides to agree on a balanced solution to ease the deficit tipped to hit 1.6 trillion dollars this year.

The president said the solution to US deficit woes lay in a combination of tax hikes on the richest Americans and modest cuts in state-run health programmes plagued by rising costs like healthcare for the elderly.

The Republicans have, however, refused to accept any tax raise and Obama's Democratic allies have balked at any cuts to medicare or other aspects of the American social safety net.

Obama said "it's not a lack of plans or policies that is the problem here. It's a lack of political will in Washington".

"It's the insistence on drawing lines in the sand, a refusal to put what's best for the country ahead of self-interest or party of ideology. And that's what we need to change."

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