Barack Obama labels $85bn budget cuts 'dumb'
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Friday 01 March 2013
Barack Obama labelled the automatic budget cuts that came into effect in the US today as “unnecessary” and “dumb” after making little progress to avert them at a meeting with congressional Republicans.
The cuts, worth $85billion (£56bn) in 2013 but more than a trillion over the next decade, were put together during the debt ceiling talks of 2011, and delayed until the start of 2013. A further delay pushed them to March, by when, it was hoped, Republicans and Democrats could agree on a way to avert them. But with no deal, they’ve come into force.
Displaying frustration at the lack of progress, Mr Obama said: “I can’t do some kind of Jedi Mind Meld on Congressional Republicans.” Earlier, he met Republican House Speaker John Boehner who has resisted White House calls that any plan to water down the cuts should come include tax hikes to raise revenue.
“Hundreds of thousands of Americans who serve their country... will suffer significant pay cuts and furloughs,” the President said later. “The longer these cuts remain in place, the greater the damage. It will cost about 750,000 jobs.”
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 3 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 4 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 5 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...