Obama calls spending cuts dumb, arbitrary

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Associated Press

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 1 at 11:00 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Obama and Republicans are playing the blame game when it comes to automatic spending cuts that are due to kick in later in the day.

Obama met with lawmakers at the White House this morning and afterward told reporters, "Let's be clear: None of this is necessary. It's happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. We shouldn't be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things."

Republicans countered by saying the fault was Obama's, for insisting that increased taxes be part of the resolution.

Obama says the impact of the cuts won't be felt immediately, but middle class families will begin to "have their lives disrupted in significant ways." He says as long as the cuts stay in effect, Americans will know that the economy could have been better had they been averted.

196-a-18-(President Obama, at news conference)-"reduce the deficit"-President Obama says the cuts are dumb and arbitrary. (1 Mar 2013)

<<CUT *196 (03/01/13)>> 00:18 "reduce the deficit"

195-w-36-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with President Obama)--Despite 11th-hour talks at the White House, automatic spending cuts that President Obama calls arbitrary and damaging are going ahead. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (1 Mar 2013)

<<CUT *195 (03/01/13)>> 00:36

203-a-07-(Congressman Mike Turner, R-Ohio, at news conference)-"game of sequester"-Republican Congressman Mike Turner says the White House meeting was a sham. (1 Mar 2013)

<<CUT *203 (03/01/13)>> 00:07 "game of sequester"

APPHOTO DCPM202: President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington, Friday, March 1, 2013, following his meeting with congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (1 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO DCPM202 (03/01/13)>>

APPHOTO DCSA102: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 1, 2013, after a meeting at the White House between President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders before billions of dollars in mandatory budget cuts were to start. The meeting — lasting less than an hour — yielded no immediate results. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (1 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO DCSA102 (03/01/13)>>

APPHOTO WHCD115: President Barack Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington, Friday, March 1, 2013, following after meeting with congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (1 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO WHCD115 (03/01/13)>>

APPHOTO WHCD112: President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington, Friday, March 1, 2013, following after meeting with congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (1 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO WHCD112 (03/01/13)>>

House Speaker John Boehner's office says Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told Obama they're willing to close tax loopholes but only to lower taxes overall, not to replace spending cuts.

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