Weekly Address: Time to Replace the Sequester with a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction


WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, President Obama said that because Republicans in Congress allowed a series of harmful, automatic budget cuts—called the sequester—to take effect, important programs like Head Start are now forced to reduce their services. After travelers were stuck for hours in airports and on planes this past week, members of Congress passed a temporary band-aid measure to stop the cuts that impact airlines — but they must do more to stop cuts to vital services for the American people.  That’s why it’s time for a balanced approach to deficit reduction that makes smarter cuts and reforms in the tax code while creating jobs and strengthening the middle class.


Remarks of President Barack Obama 
Weekly Address
The White House
April 27, 2013


Hi, everybody. Our top priority as a nation must be growing the economy, creating good jobs, and rebuilding opportunity for the middle class.


But two months ago, Congress allowed a series of automatic budget cuts to fall across the federal government that would do the opposite. In Washington-speak, these cuts were called the “sequester.” It was a bad idea then. And as the country saw this week, it’s a bad idea now.


Because of these reckless cuts, there are parents whose kids just got kicked out of Head Start programs scrambling for a solution. There are seniors who depend on programs like Meals on Wheels to live independently looking for help. There are military communities – families that have already sacrificed enough – coping under new strains. All because of these cuts.

因為這些草率的削減,很多家長眼看著他們的孩子們被踢出Head Start(一項美國健康和人文服務部發起的為低收入家庭孩子提供全面的教育、健康、營養和家長參與的服務專案—譯注)專案而束手無策。很多依靠“送餐車”(一個為行動不便的鰥寡孤獨提供飲食服務的專案)生活的老人們不得不自己找出路。很多軍人家庭—已經做出了很大犧牲—不得不應對新的緊日子。這一切都源於這些削減。

This week, the sequester hurt travelers, who were stuck for hours in airports and on planes, and rightly frustrated by it. And, maybe because they fly home each weekend, the Members of Congress who insisted these cuts take hold finally realized that they actually apply to them too.


Republicans claimed victory when the sequester first took effect, and now they’ve decided it was a bad idea all along. Well, first, they should look at their own budget. If the cuts they propose were applied across the board, the FAA would suffer cuts three times deeper.


So Congress passed a temporary fix. A Band-Aid. But these cuts are scheduled to keep falling across other parts of the government that provide vital services for the American people. And we can’t just keep putting Band-Aids on every cut. It’s not a responsible way to govern. There is only one way to truly fix the sequester: by replacing it before it causes further damage.


A couple weeks ago, I put forward a budget that replaces the next several years of these dumb cuts with smarter cuts; reforms our tax code to close wasteful special interest loopholes; and invests in things like education, research, and manufacturing that will create new jobs right now.


So I hope Members of Congress will find the same sense of urgency and bipartisan cooperation to help the families still in the crosshairs of these cuts. They may not feel the pain felt by kids kicked off Head Start, or the 750,000 Americans projected to lose their jobs because of these cuts, or the long-term unemployed who will be further hurt by them. But that pain is real.

所以我希望國會議員們抱有同樣的緊迫感和兩黨合作意識來幫助那些受到這些削減影響的家庭。他們可能還沒有感覺到他們的孩子們被踢出Head Start項目的痛苦,或750,000美國人由於這些削減失業的痛苦,或長期失業者們還沒有感覺到被這些削減進一步傷害的痛苦。但是這些痛苦著實存在。

The American people worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one economic crisis just to see your elected officials keep causing more. Our economy is growing. Our deficits are shrinking. We’re creating jobs on a consistent basis. But we need to do more to help middle-class families get ahead, and give more folks a chance to earn their way into the middle class. And we can, if we work together. That’s what you expect. That’s what I’m going to work every single day to help deliver.


Thanks so much.



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