We can fix economy, Obama tells Congress

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President Barack Obama said the US Congress had a "unique opportunity" to stabilise the country's economy for decades by cutting deficits and raising the national debt limit to avoid a default.

He warned that failure to do so by the 2 August deadline would mean "a tax increase for everybody" if the government defaulted, sending up interest rates and probably causing a global financial crisis. Mr Obama said Republicans' opposition to any new tax revenue was complicating efforts to reach a deficit-cutting deal.

"If they show me a serious plan I'm ready to move," he said. The US hit its $14.3 trillion (£9trn) debt ceiling in May. Republicans say they will not raise the debt limit unless Democrats agree to major spending cuts. Democrats want cuts, plus some tax rises.