WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- President Barack Obama said on Monday that while the United States has come a long way out of the
financial crisis, the U.S. economy is still not yet where it needs to be.
"We've cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis, and we've begun to lay a new foundation for economic growth and prosperity," Obama said at the White House on the fifth anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis.
He said the Americans should take note of how far they have come from where they were five years ago, and they also need to keep in mind the remaining work that needs to be done to strengthen the economy.
"We need to grow faster. We need more good-paying jobs. We need more broad-based prosperity. We need more ladders of opportunity for people who are currently poor, but want to get into the middle class," he added.
Five years ago, the collapse of Lehman Brothers investment bank marked the beginning of the global financial crisis which wreaked havoc on the world economy, and forced the U.S. government to step in and bail out banks with billions of money to avert a financial meltdown and stabilize the economy.
After mentioning signs of progress, including 7.5 million new jobs, better capitalized banks, a turnaround in the housing market and revitalized auto industry, Obama acknowledged that the middle class families have not benefited enough from the recovery, as most of the gains have gone to the top earners.
As renewed budget battle looms, Obama warned the Republicans not to threaten the country with a government shutdown or default.
The House Republicans wanted to trade large spending cuts for a rise in the government borrowing limit, which will be urgently needed as early as mid-October. They have also worked to push for a vote in the Senate on defunding the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature healthcare law.
In an interview with ABC news which aired Sunday, Obama voiced his willingness to reverse the spending cuts known as sequester, but stressed that he will not negotiate with Republicans over the nation's debt ceiling.
Obama said Republicans are setting a dangerous precedent in using the debt ceiling to push for government spending cuts, noting that "never in history have we used just making sure that the U.S. government is paying its bills as a lever to radically cut government at the kind of scale that they're talking about."