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Obama urges Congress to balance spending cuts, tax reform

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-10 00:23

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama pressed Congress on Saturday to find a balanced mix of spending cuts and tax reform, as they negotiated ways to cut deficit.

In a weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said a balanced, comprehensive way referred to making sensible changes to entitlement programs and reforming tax code.

If US lawmakers fail to hash out a budget deal by March 1, a series of automatic cuts to investment and defense spending will take effect. It would be a huge blow to the US economy as a whole. Economists estimated it may translate into a 0.6 percentage point drag on US economic growth, widely expected at around 2 percent this year.

Obama said he acknowledged the budget process took time and suggested Congressmen moving forward with a short-term deal as they had done at the beginning of this year until they can find a longer-term solution.

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