White House sounds alarm on government spending cuts

February 9, 2013 9:43 am 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 — Unless Congress acts by March 1, the White House said Friday a series of automatic cuts threatening thousands of jobs and economic security of the U.S. middle class will take effect.

"There is no question that we need to cut the deficit but the President believes it should be done in a balanced way that protects investments that the middle class relies on," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a fact-sheet style document listing harms caused by government's looming spending cuts.

"Our economy is poised to take off but we cannot afford a self-inflicted wound from Washington – we cannot simply cut our way to prosperity," said Carney.

Roughly 85 billion U.S. dollars of spending cuts are set to hit various U.S. government departments this year starting March 1, as agreed by Democrats and Republicans in January, to resolve the so-called "fiscal cliff."

About 10,000 teacher jobs would be put at risk and several thousand researchers could lose their jobs due to government's outlays cuts, said the White House.

The across-the-board automatic government spending cuts – sequester' or 'sequestration' in U.S. government budget language – were included in the August 2011 debt ceiling package to force lawmakers to come up with a long-term deficit reduction plan.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to delay massive government spending cuts in the near term to boost economic growth despite spiking government debt, adding twists to government's debt reduction efforts. (PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/CJT/RSM

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