WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama warned Tuesday that the looming budget cuts would jeopardize military readiness and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.
"That's why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as 'the sequester', are a really bad idea," Obama said in his annual State of the Union address.
Faced with $85 billion in automatic spending cuts at the end of the month if a compromise cannot be reached, Obama warned "sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts" will devastate education and hurt people who depend on key social programs.
"Most Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents -- understand that we can't just cut our way to prosperity," he told members of Congress.
"They know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share."
Obama said that closing tax loopholes for businesses and the wealthy who don't need them would be a better way to reduce the country's huge deficit than slashing spending.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013