President Obama mostly held his fire when it came to the Standard & Poor's credit downgrade: “The fact is we didn’t need a rating agency to tell us that we need a balanced long-term approach to deficit reduction,” Obama said Monday. "We've always been and always will be a triple-A country." While he hailed Washington’s debt-ceiling agreement, he said he wants to “combine those spending cuts with two additional steps: tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health-care programs like Medicare.” He said he would put forward his own recommendations on how to achieve these goals before moving on to address economic concerns. He called for an extension of the payroll-tax cut and unemployment benefits, saying a failure to extend them could result in a million fewer jobs.
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