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 Obama sends Congress $3.73 trillion budget for fiscal 2012

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PostSubject: Obama sends Congress $3.73 trillion budget for fiscal 2012   Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:16 am

By Martin Crutsinger
The Associated Press








WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.73 trillion
budget Monday that holds out the prospect of eventually bringing
deficits under control through spending cuts and tax increases.But
the fiscal blueprint largely ignores his own deficit commission's view
that the nation is imperiled unless entitlement programs like Social
Security and Medicare are slashed.Obama called his budget
one of "tough choices and sacrifices," but most of those cuts would be
held off until after the end of his first term.Overall, Obama proposed trimming the deficits by $1.1 trillion over a decade.The
administration is projecting that the deficit will hit an all-time high
of $1.65 trillion this year and then drop sharply to $1.1 trillion in
2012, with an expected improvement in the economy and as reductions in
Social Security withholding and business taxes expire.Obama's
2012 budget would add $8 billion to the projected deficit for that year
because the bulk of the savings he would achieve through a freeze in
many domestic programs would be devoted to increased spending in areas
Obama considers priorities, such as education and high-speed rail."We
have more work to do to live up to our promise by repairing the damage
this brutal recession has inflicted on our people," Obama said.The
president went to a school outside of Baltimore to highlight the
education initiatives in his budget and told the crowd, "We can't
sacrifice our future."Republicans, who took control of the House
in the November elections and picked up seats in the Senate in part
because of voter anger over soaring deficits, called Obama's efforts too
timid.The $14 trillion national debt -- the cumulative total of
deficits since the beginning of the Republic -- would grow to $16.7
trillion by Sept. 30, 2012, Obama's budget projects.Obama's
deficit commission made a host of recommendations that include raising
the Social Security retirement age and curbing benefit increases, and
eliminating or scaling back popular tax breaks. Obama included none of
the proposals in his budget.The Obama budget plan, which is
certain to be changed by Congress, would spend $3.73 trillion in the
2012 budget year, which begins Oct. 1, a reduction of 2.4 percent from
what Obama projects will be spent in the current budget year.The
president's projected $1.65 trillion deficit for the current year would
be the highest dollar amount ever, surpassing the $1.41 trillion deficit
hit in 2009.The president's 2012 budget projects that deficits
will total $7.21 trillion over the next decade, with the imbalances
never falling below $607 billion.Administration officials project that the deficits will be trimmed to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product by 2015.
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