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.”