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Obama's Address: A 'Balanced Approach' to Averting the Sequester

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- With deep budget cuts looming, President Obama is accusing Republicans of putting tax loopholes for the wealthy ahead of the needs of the middle class.

In his weekly address, the president urges lawmakers to pass a short-term package of spending cuts and tax revenue to head off across-the-board cuts set to kick-in on March 1.

"Most Members of Congress – including many Republicans – don’t think it’s a good idea to put thousands of jobs at risk and do unnecessary damage to our economy," he says. "And yet the current Republican plan puts the burden of avoiding those cuts mainly on seniors and middle-class families."

"They would rather ask more from the vast majority of Americans and put our recovery at risk than close even a single tax loophole that benefits the wealthy," he says.

The president says progress has been made over the last few years to reduce the deficit. "There's no reason we can't keep chipping away at this problem," he says.

What the economy can't afford, he says, are more "self-inflicted wounds to put that progress in jeopardy."

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