The White House retreated from its doomsday predictions Sunday about the impact of the $85 billion in federal spending cuts that have kicked in — as Republican leaders appeared at least satisfied about delivering on their promise to limit government spending and hold down taxes.

Gene Sperling, the White House’s top economic adviser, repeatedly said the cuts will not hurt as much on “Day One” as they will over the long haul.

“Nobody ever suggested that this … was going to have all its impact in the first few days,” he told “NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It is a slow grind.”

His remarks are in contrast to weeks of President Obama and his Cabinet warning that the cuts will result in furloughs or pay cuts for middle-class wage-earners such as teachers, Capitol Hill janitors and air traffic controllers, which they said could cause 90-minutes delays at major U.S. airports.