Obama on Sequester: "Budget Cuts Will Slow Economy, Eliminate Good Jobs"

President Obama pushes alternate plan for avoiding budget cuts in weekly address.
3:58 | 02/23/13

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Transcript for Obama on Sequester: "Budget Cuts Will Slow Economy, Eliminate Good Jobs"
Hi everybody. Our top priority -- a country right now should be doing everything we can to grow our economy and create good middle class jobs. And yet less than one week from now congress is poised to allow a series of arbitrary automatic budget cuts -- will do the exact opposite. Don't slower economy. Don't eliminate good jobs. -- many families were already stretched to limit scrambling to figure out what to do. But here's the -- -- cuts don't have to happen. Congress can turn them off any time -- just a little compromise. They can pass a balanced plan for deficit reduction. They can cut spending and a Smart way and close wasteful tax loopholes for the well off and -- connect. Unfortunately it appears that Republicans in congress have decided that instead of compromise. Instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans. They'd rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class. And here's what that choice means. Once these cuts take effect thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off and tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks causing delays across the country. Even President Bush's director of the National Institutes of Health says these cuts will set back medical science for a generation. Already the threat of these cuts is force the navy to delay the deployment of an aircraft carriers the Persian gulf. Affecting our ability to respond to threats in an unstable part of the world. And just this week the Pentagon announced that if these cuts go through. Almost 800000. Defense employees. The equivalent of every person in Miami and Cleveland combined. Will be forced to take an unpaid leave. That's what this choice means. Are Republicans in congress really willing to let these cuts -- on our kids schools and mental health care just to protect tax loopholes for corporate jet owners. -- they really willing to slash military health care and the Border Patrol just because they refused to eliminate tax breaks for big oil companies. -- -- seriously prepared to inflict more pain on the middle class because they refused to ask anything more of those at the very top. These are the questions Republicans in congress need to ask themselves. And I'm hopeful will change their minds. Because the American people have worked too hard for too long to see everything they've built on -- bipartisan recklessness in Washington. Instead of these reckless unbalanced cuts I believe we should work together to build on the more than 2.5 trillion dollars in -- -- reduction -- party achieved. We should do it in a balanced -- with Smart spending cuts entitlement reform and tax reform. That's my plan. It's got tough cuts -- forms and asks more of the wealthiest Americans. It's on the White House web site for everybody deceit. And it requires Democrats and Republicans to meet half way to resolve the problem. That's what -- -- people expect. And that's what you deserve. We just need Republicans in Washington to come around. Because we need their help to finish the job of reducing our deficit in a Smart way to doesn't hurt our economy -- people. After all as we learned in the 1990s. Nothing shrinks the deficit faster than a growing economy that creates good middle class jobs. It has to be are driving focus. And asked BR -- start. Making America magnet for good jobs equipping our people with the skills required to fill those jobs making sure your hard work leads to a decently. That's what this city should be focused on like a -- and I'm gonna keep pushing folks here to remember that. Thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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