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Ear to the Ground

Obama Gets Aggressive on Cutting the Deficit

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Posted on Feb 20, 2009
Obama
AP photo / Darin McGregor, Pool

Despite the fact that he’s looking at a trillion-plus deficit for 2009 as he settles into his second month as president, Barack Obama has plans to cut the annual deficit by half by the time his first term ends.


The New York Times:

Mr. Obama inherited a deficit for 2009 of about $1.2 trillion, which will rise to more than $1.5 trillion, given initial spending from his recently enacted stimulus package. His budget blueprint for the 2010 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, will include a 10-year projection showing the annual deficit declining to $533 billion in the 2013 fiscal year, the last year of his term, officials said. A reduction of that magnitude would more than meet Mr. Obama’s deficit reduction goal.

Measured against the size of the economy, that would mean a reduction from a deficit equal to more than 10 percent of gross domestic product — larger than any deficit since World War II — to 3 percent, which is the level that economists generally consider sustainable. Mr. Obama will project deficits at about that level through 2019, aides said.

In his weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday, Mr. Obama said his first budget was “sober in its assessments, honest in its accounting, and lays out in detail my strategy for investing in what we need, cutting what we don’t, and restoring fiscal discipline.”

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By mjt01, February 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

I heard something all to similar from Bush43, but he managed to double the total deficit, from around five and a half billion to around 11 billion in the years 2001-2009. Bush44 is following the same trail in far too many ways. I wonder what the total deficit will be by the time Bush44 is through with us.

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By enjerth, February 22, 2009 at 9:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This report is such a joke. He’s not talking about reducing the overall deficit, but reducing the annual budget deficit.

Even then, there have only been 3 years that the US budget deficit was MORE than the proposed $533 billion he wants to reduce it to.

How can you be talking about some of the biggest budget deficits in history and frame it in the sense of cutting it? Ridiculous.

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By whyzowl1, February 21, 2009 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

It looks like there are some signal notes of authentic progressivism, fiscal sanity, and even—gasp!—honest accounting in President Obama’s proposed budget(s) that stretch, more or less, from here to eternity. That certainly represents a hopeful change from business as usual.

To the barricades, mon amis! Let us defend his proposals (though they could never possibly have fulfilled all our wishes) against all comers, and fight to see them enacted, to the fullest extent possible, intact. Better half a loaf than none.

Yes, one can’t help but sense that his plans are intended for a world that no longer exists except in our perfervid imaginations, that events will inevitably intervene and force him to amend them, and that most of us are SURE we really SHOULD be doing something else. So work for both, for the tentative first steps that are feasible in the here-and-now, and for the realization of your most heartfelt dreams. I’ll let you be in my dream, if I can be in yours.

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By coloradokarl, February 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

Obama would be smart to go after the cost of the Bush/Cheney wars first and then the costs of DHS and the rest of the “War on Terror”. The fact that we have not been asked to sacrifice while our children are sent to die is an act of COWARDICE.
Lets get a fair and even tax structure. and get the wealthy to pay 1/3 of their income like my peers and I faithfully do year in and year out.

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By Dave, February 21, 2009 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cut the deficit? He just doubled it. You are kidding right. And He is talking like he is President in 2012 already this guy is really out of touch with reality.

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