02/08/2011 15:27 BST | Updated 02/10/2011 06:12 BST

Obama Demands A 'Balanced Approach' To Economy

President Obama has called for greater political compromise following the dramatic last-minute passing of the debt ceiling legislation.

Speaking in the rose garden of the White House, the US leader emphasised the need for a balanced approach to the economy, not just spending cuts, for the long-term health of the country.

"Voters may have voted for divided government but they did not vote for dysfunctional government... It shouldn't take the risk of economic catastrophe to get the people in this town doing their jobs.

"It’s pretty likely that the uncertainty surrounding the raising of the debt ceiling for both business and consumers has been unsettling, and just one more impediment to the full recovery that we need. And it was something we could have avoided entirely."

The president also highlighted the need for a concerted bi-partisan approach to future economic policy, including a debate about increasing taxation, a move the Republican Party have steadfastly refused to countenance.

"Since you can’t close the deficit with just spending cuts, we’ll need a balanced approach where everything is on the table. That means making some adjustments to protect healthcare programmes like Medicare. It also means reforming our tax codes so the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations pay their fair share."

"We need to begin by extending tax cuts for middle-class families so that you have more money in your pay checks next year... we can't balance the budget on the backs of the people who have borne this recession."