WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Unless Congress acts by March 1, a series of automatic cuts that threaten thousands of jobs and the economic security of U.S. middle class will take effect, the White House said on Friday.
"There is no question that we need to cut the deficit, but the President believes it should be done in a balanced way that protects investments that the middle class relies on," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a fact-sheet style document listing harms caused by the looming government spending cuts.
"Our economy is poised to take off but we cannot afford a self- inflicted wound from Washington. We cannot simply cut our way to prosperity," said Carney.
Roughly 85 billion U.S. dollars of spending cuts were set to hit various U.S. governmental departments this year starting on March 1, as agreed by Democrats and Republicans in January to resolve the so-called "fiscal cliff."
About 10,000 teacher jobs would be put at risk, and several thousand researchers could lose their jobs due to the government outlays cuts, said the White House.
The across-the-board automatic government spending cuts, the so- called "sequester" or "sequestration" in U.S. government budget language, were included in the August 2011 debt-ceiling package to force lawmakers to come up with a long-term deficit reduction plan.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to delay massive government spending cuts in the near term to boost economic growth despite the spiking government debt, adding twists to the government's debt reduction efforts.