News / USA

Obama: Budget Cuts Can Be Averted

President Barack Obama answers a question from a reporter during his meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House, Feb. 22, 2013.
President Barack Obama answers a question from a reporter during his meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House, Feb. 22, 2013.
Kent Klein
President Barack Obama is increasing pressure on opposition Republicans in Congress to avert a series of mandatory spending cuts that are to take effect on March 1. The president also sought Friday to reassure the world economy about the possible effects of the cuts.

Obama called it a “no-brainer,” a simple decision. He said it should be easy for Republican lawmakers to find ways to prevent $85 billion in government budget cuts from taking effect next Friday.

Otherwise, he warned that the U.S. and global economies could suffer.

“These kinds of arbitrary, automatic cuts would have an adverse impact on families, on teachers, on parents who are reliant on Head Start programs, on our military readiness, on mental health services, on medical research. This is not a smart way for us to reduce the deficit,” said Obama.

But while meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Oval Office, the president sent a message to world leaders that the automatic budget cuts would not threaten the world financial system.

“It is not like the equivalent of the U.S. defaulting on its obligations. What it does mean, though, is that if the U.S. is growing slower, then other countries grow slower, because we continue to be a central engine in world economic growth. So I do not think anybody would like to see this outcome.”

The Republicans who control the House of Representatives are threatening to let the cuts take effect, because they say excessive government spending is the top threat to the U.S. economy.
House Speaker John Boehner said the reductions should stay in effect until cuts and reforms are enacted that would lead to a balanced budget.

The Obama administration has been sending numerous warnings in recent days about the possible effects of the cuts. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters the slashed budget would affect air traffic control and airplane maintenance, and would cause widespread flight delays.

“Flights to major cities, like New York, Chicago and San Francisco and others, could experience delays of up to 90 minutes during peak hours, because we have fewer controllers on staff. Delays in these major airports will ripple across the country,” said LaHood.

State governors from the president’s Democratic Party, after meeting with Obama at the White House, said the budget crisis would hurt their state economies.

Governor Peter Shumlin of the Northeastern state of Vermont said many states’ economies are just beginning to come back from years of economic crisis.

“We cannot afford to put at risk jobs and the recovery,” said Shumlin.

The White House has called for a combination of less severe budget cuts and tax increases to prevent the deeper automatic cuts from taking effect.

Republican lawmakers say they agreed to one round of higher taxes in the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations at the end of 2012, and they will not tolerate another.

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Comment Sorting
by: Bev from: Florence, Or
February 22, 2013 8:09 PM
The budget is a joke. Why has our government come to a point that very few men in Congress control this countries future. What happen to the democracy we are so proud of. It is time we address the budget, there is alot of fraud and excess spending but not in general services. Where is the money spent and who profits from it? Who handles government contracts, and who get kick backs? That is the true issue.
In Response

by: NVO from: USA
February 24, 2013 1:27 PM
We are a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC, that has become SOCIALIST, by an AUTOCRATIC REGIME, that throngs of foolish people voted for. We are NOT a democracy and never was. The Regime wants you to believe we are a democracy which equals MORE GOVERNMENT. THE NEW WORLD ORDER is here.....beware.

by: Sunshineman from: Arizona
February 22, 2013 7:54 PM
When the recession began and business slowed down, the first thing my company did (a fortune 100 company) was cut everyone's budget. Everyone was cut about 10%. Initially everyone complained that the 'world was going to end', that the cuts were going to 'kill the company'. Guess what? Nothing of the sort happened. Each department when through their budgets and cut what needed to be cut. Our government could use that. I don't believe the 'scare tactics' that the politicians are using to protect their 'fiefdoms'. I say let the cuts go into effect. None of the doom and gloom will happen. The government will be forced to be more efficient. Departments will cut what doesn't work. Letting the politicians choose what to cut is not a good idea. They will simply threaten to cut those programs which people want, like police, fire, and education while protecting useless programs. The fact of the matter is that they lie to protect the money. Let the cut's happen. We will be better off in the long run.

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