WASHINGTON President Barack Obama blamed Republican lawmakers Friday for failing to stop automatic spending cuts that were to begin kicking in later in the day, calling the cuts “dumb, arbitrary.”
Republicans said the fault was his, for insisting that increased taxes be part of the resolution.
The president said the impact of the cuts won’t immediately be felt, but middle class families will begin to “have their lives disrupted in significant ways.” He said that as long as the cuts stay in effect, Americans will know that the economy could have been better had they been averted.
“The pain, though, will be real,” Obama said.
“This is not a win for anybody. This is a loss for the American people,” he said.
Obama, pressed on whether he bears some of the responsibility for the stalemate, expressed frustration. “Give me an example of what I might do,” he challenged reporters.
“I am not a dictator. I’m the president,” he said. He added that he can’t do a “Jedi mind-meld” or use any “special sauce” to get Republicans to negotiate.
“I can’t force Congress to do the right thing,” Obama said.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.