US Senator Elizabeth Warren: Sequester cuts are ‘just plain dumb’

US Senator Elizabeth Warren today urged Republicans to accept what she called a “balanced proposal” from President Obama to ending the standoff over the series of extensive across-the-board federal spending cuts set to take effect Friday.

“It’s a little more balanced than I would have put on the table if I’d been in that position,” Warren said, describing Obama’s plan as a 50-50 split between spending cuts and “closing some corporate loopholes like oil company subsidies.”

Warren made the comments during a breakfast at The New England Council, a business-backed group that includes some of the region’s most influential lobbyists. It was her first of several events today meant to highlight the Democratic Party’s position on the cuts, known as “sequestration,” that will slash $85 billion from the proposed 2013 federal budget.

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“We seem to have a government that works only by holdout,” Warren said. “I don’t know anything more to do but get up and talk to the American people.”

She called the automatic federal spending cuts that are scheduled to take place this Friday “just plain dumb,” but offered no new hope on how to resolve a crisis that could curtail government services and kill thousands of jobs in Massachusetts.

The “sequestration” cuts are a result of a political standoff between Democrats and Republicans over how to reduce the federal budget deficit. The onerous cuts were agreed to by Congress and the president as an incentive to negotiators to reach a deal. But no deal has been reached.

This year’s cuts would be the leading edge of $1 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years.