Obama government vows to halve US deficit in a decade

City A.M. Reporter
US president Barack Obama’s 2012 budget plan would slash the US deficit by $1.1 trillion (£688bn) over 10 years, officials said yesterday.

However opposition Republicans were unimpressed and vowed to push for deeper cuts in spending.

White House budget director Jack Lew said the proposal, to be unveiled today, puts the government on track to halve the federal budget deficit by the end of Obama’s first term in office, which extends through 2012.

“We’re doing what every family does when it sits around its kitchen table: we’re making the choices about what do we need for the future,” said Lew.

Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, said they would make more savage cuts.

“He”s going to present a budget that will continue to destroy jobs by spending too much, borrowing too much and taxing too much,” said House of Representatives speaker John Boehner.

The budget proposal is certain to kick off a heated debate with Republicans, whose big gains in November’s elections were fuelled by conservative activists calling for cuts in spending and government size.