News / USA

    Obama on Budget: Tough Choices, More Work Ahead

    President Barack Obama, with Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew, speaks at Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology in Maryland, Feb. 14, 2011
    President Barack Obama, with Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew, speaks at Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology in Maryland, Feb. 14, 2011

    President Obama says the 2012 fiscal-year budget sent to Congress contains tough choices involving spending on programs he cares deeply about. The president is calling for Democrats and Republicans to work together on additional steps to reduce excessive spending, but says programs vital to the nation's future must be preserved.

    The budget comes in at $3.73 trillion, with $1.1 trillion in projected savings during the next decade from reductions in spending and tax increases, including $400 billion from a five-year domestic spending freeze.

    Largely a result of the tax deal the president negotiated with Republicans last year, the 2011 deficit is projected to rise to a record $1.65 trillion.  That is the fourth straight year deficits will exceed $1 trillion, though the administration says this will come down by next year.

    In remarks at the Parkville Middle School and Center for Technology in nearby Maryland, Mr. Obama said the budget finds savings by cutting wasteful programs, imposing greater accountability, and through reductions in areas he cares deeply about, such as energy assistance and other programs for low income Americans.

    But while saying the nation needs to "walk the walk" when it comes to fiscal discipline, Mr. Obama underscored the need to invest in education and other areas he says are vital to the nation's future.

    "While it is absolutely essential to live within our means, while we are absolutely committed to working with Democrats and Republicans to find further savings and to look at the whole range of budget issues, we cannot sacrifice our future in the process," he said.

    The budget would cut or reduce about 200 government programs, reductions that Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew said are made necessary by the state of the economy.

    "Part of the cuts are in outdated programs, things that are duplicative, and things that we would choose to cut just because it is the right thing to do," he said.  "Part of the cuts are not going to be in that area, they are things that we wouldn't do, but for the fiscal challenges that we face."

    However, the Obama budget  proposes increases for education, research and development, energy efficiency and transportation infrastructure, including a new high-speed rail proposal.

    The president spoke again of his proposal to prepare 10,000 new math science teachers to improve education standards and increase U.S. competitiveness in the long run.   The budget also supports a goal of putting one million electric vehicles on the roads by 2015, and doubling electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.

    White House officials say parts of the budget reflect work done by a bipartisan presidential fiscal commission.  However, the spending plan does not deal with the panel's major recommendations for drastic deficit-and debt-reduction measures, including cuts to so-called "entitlement" programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.

    President Obama said it's clear that cutting annual domestic spending will be insufficient to meet long-term fiscal challenges, adding that bipartisan cooperation will be required in coming months.

    "What we have done here is make a down payment," he said.  "But there is going to be more work that needs to be done and it is going to require Democrats and Republicans coming together to make it happen."

    Among steps to bring down the deficit, Mr. Obama mentioned a proposed $78 billion reduction in Pentagon spending over five years, steps to end tax breaks for oil, gas and coal companies and savings from wasteful health-care spending.

    Many of the investments Mr. Obama considers necessary for future U.S. job growth and competitiveness are viewed as wasteful spending by Republicans, who are proposing as much as $100 billion in reductions for the current fiscal year.

    On Capitol Hill, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ohio Congressman John Boehner, issued a statement saying the president's budget would "destroy jobs" and continue a "spending binge."

    Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, who heads the House Committee on the Budget, said the president failed to deal with deficit and debt-reduction priorities.

    "What did we just get today?  We got a punt," he said.  "The president punted on the budget, and he punted on the deficit and on the debt.  That's not leadership.  That's an abdication of leadership."

    In April, Republicans plan to issue their own budget proposal, one Boehner said will "contrast sharply" with the spending plan the president sent to Congress on Monday.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora