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When $1.1T isn’t enough

President Barack Obama yesterday proposed halving the U.S. deficit by 2013 and cutting $1.1 trillion over the next decade in a budget he called a “downpayment” on fiscal control.

President Barack Obama yesterday proposed halving the U.S. deficit by 2013 and cutting $1.1 trillion over the next decade in a budget he called a “downpayment” on fiscal control.

But Republicans, who accuse Obama of being a tax-and-spend Democrat, said the president had not gone far enough in controlling costs. They aim to make the 2012 presidential election a referendum on his fiscal track record.

Obama said his plan was a balance between deficit reduction pain and investment for growth. It only provided a general guide on how to tackle entitlement outlays that include the Social Security and Medicare programs responsible for huge government spending.

Obama’s proposal for fiscal 2012 shows the deficit rising to a record $1.645 trillion in fiscal 2011, then falling sharply to $1.101 trillion in 2012.

Two thirds of the savings come from spending cuts and the rest through higher revenues as U.S. growth steadily picks up pace, as well as from tax increases. The president seeks $129 billion over 10 years by cutting big-business tax breaks.

Republicans, who have already unveiled much tougher proposals to rein in rising U.S. debt, were not impressed. “The president’s budget isn’t winning the future, it’s spending the future,” said House Speaker John Boehner.

 
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