Obama calls spending cuts dumb, arbitrary
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.
President Barack Obama says he can't do a "Jedi mind meld" with Republican leaders and persuade them to do what he believes is right when it comes to trimming federal spending.
Asked if he could refuse to allow Republican leaders of the House and Senate to leave a White House meeting until a budget agreement was reached, Obama said that's not how a constitutional form of government works.
Obama took questions from the media at the White House after meeting with congressional leaders.