User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 42

  1. #1
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    7,917

    Default Obama pledges to cut nation's deficit in half

    Obama pledges to cut nation's deficit in half

    President Obama blames health care costs for a rising federal deficit and promises to cut the $1.3 trillion debt in half by the end of his term.

    February 23, 2009: 4:41 PM ET

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Barack Obama pledged Monday to cut the nation's $1.3 trillion deficit in half by the end of his first term.

    He identified exploding health-care costs as the chief culprit behind rising federal deficits during a bipartisan "fiscal responsibility summit" convened to discuss ways to restore fiscal stability without deepening the recession.

    Meeting with the congressional leadership of both parties, as well as a range of business, academic, financial and labor leaders, Obama warned that the country cannot continue its current rate of deficit spending without facing dire economic consequences.

    "I refuse to leave our children with a debt they cannot repay," he said in remarks opening the one-day summit at the White House. "We cannot and will not sustain deficits like these without end. ... We cannot simply spend as we please."

    The country, Obama argued, is already starting to face the consequences of greater deficit spending, noting that roughly one in 10 taxpayer dollars in 2008 went toward paying $250 billion in interest on the national debt.

    The president pledged to take the first step toward fiscal responsibility by, among other things, ending "accounting tricks" such as refusing to include money for expenses such as the Iraq war or natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina in the regular budget.

    Such practices, Obama argued, only serve to mask the real size of the deficit.

    He also pledged to end no-bid contracts in Iraq, root out waste and abuse in entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, require every Cabinet member to scrub department budgets "line by line," and reinstate a "pay as you go" rule from the 1990s.

    "This is the rule that families across this country follow every single day, and there's no reason their government shouldn't do the same," he said. "You don't pay what you don't have."

    But the biggest challenge, he said, would be controlling spiraling health-care costs - "the single most pressing fiscal challenge we face by far."

    The projected increase in the deficit is due largely to anticipated growth in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which in turn is driven by rising health-care costs, budget analyst Bob Greenstein noted shortly before Obama spoke.

    Greenstein minimized the impact of the $787 billion economic stimulus plan on the budget shortfall, saying that the plan amounts to only one-tenth of 1% of the gross domestic product.

    But if health care is not reformed, he warned, the national debt could soar to 300% of the gross domestic product by 2050.

    "We are (currently) on the path to the very debt explosion we must avoid," he declared.

    "Health care is the key" to getting the nation off an unsustainable fiscal course, added Peter Orszag, head of the Office of Management and Budget.

    After Obama's remarks Monday, the fiscal responsibility summit participants separated into small groups to discuss the specific fiscal challenges facing the country, including taxes, health care, Social Security and the budget process.

    Obama's address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night is expected to be dominated by economic and budgetary issues. The president is slated to officially unveil his fiscal year 2010 budget Thursday.

    Obama intends to cut the federal deficit in half primarily by spending less on the war in Iraq, raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000 a year and streamlining government, an administration official told CNN Saturday.

    The president's budget proposal will project that the estimated $1.3 trillion deficit inherited from the Bush administration will be halved to $533 billion by 2013, or from 9.2% of the gross domestic product to 3%, the official said.

    Obama's plans to cut the deficit may be complicated by the continuing economic downturn, which threatens to reduce tax revenues. A group of leading economists is now forecasting a far deeper and more painful recession ahead in the first half of the year, with a solid recovery not taking hold until 2010.

    The economy is likely to decline at a 5% rate in the first quarter, even sharper than the 3.8% drop recorded in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a survey of 47 top forecasters from the National Association of Business Economics.

    And according to estimates by economists Alan Auerbach of the University of California at Berkeley and William Gale of the Brookings Institution, the deficit - largely because of the recession and the new economic stimulus effort - will average at least $1 trillion per year for the next 10 years, even if the stimulus is limited to two years and the jobs picture improves dramatically.
    Obama pledges to cut nation's deficit in half - Feb. 23, 2009

    It's a very smart political move to make this pledge to counterbalance the news about stimulus spending going on right now. Let's hope they carry through with it.

  2. #2
    Permabanned
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Enneagram
    9w8
    Posts
    3,187

    Default

    Lets get down to the numbers, shall we.

    Obama Delivers $3.6 Trillion Budget Blueprint - WSJ.com

    Obama Delivers $3.6 Trillion Budget Blueprint
    Plan Would Raise Taxes on Affluent, Businesses; Aims to 'Break From a Troubled Past'

    WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama delivered a $3.6 trillion budget blueprint to Congress Thursday that aims to "break from a troubled past," with expanded government activism, tax increases on affluent families and businesses, and spending cuts targeted at those he says profited from "an era of profound irresponsibility."

    The budget blueprint for fiscal year 2010 is one of the most ambitious policy prescriptions in decades, a reordering of the federal government to provide national health care, shift the energy economy away from oil and gas, and boost the federal commitment to education.
    [President Barack Obama (R) announces his administration's proposed Financial Year 2010 federal budget outline with Vice President Joe Biden]

    President Obama announces his proposed fiscal 2010 federal budget outline with Vice President Joe Biden.

    One war would end, as troops leave Iraq, while another would ramp up in Afghanistan. To fund it all, families earning over $250,000 and a variety of businesses will pay a steep price, but Mr. Obama implored Americans to own up to the mistakes of the past while accepting profound sacrifices.

    "We need to be honest with ourselves about what costs are being racked up, because that's how we'll come to grips with the hard choices that lie ahead," Mr. Obama said Thursday morning. "And there are some hard choices that lie ahead."

    The president blamed the nation's economic travails on the administration that preceded him and on a nation that lost its bearings. His budget plan projects a federal deficit of $1.75 trillion for 2009, or 12.3% of the gross domestic product, a level not seen since 1942 as the U.S. plunged into World War II.
    Budget Breakdown

    The budget blueprint estimates a federal deficit of $1.75 trillion for 2009.


    View Interactive

    "This crisis is neither the result of a normal turn of the business cycle nor an accident of history," the president states in an opening message of the 134-page document. "We arrived at this point as a result of an era of profound irresponsibility that engulfed both private and public institutions from some of our largest companies' executive suites to the seats of power in Washington, D.C."

    By 2013, the deficit would drop to $533 billion but begin to climb from there again as the heart of the Baby Boom begins drawing Social Security and Medicare benefits.

    The budget's introduction is likely to herald one of the fiercest political fights Washington has seen in years, waged on multiple fronts. Within minutes, Republicans were lambasting a document they called class warfare, designed to mire the nation in recession for years to come. Business lobbyists were girding for battle even before the budget's unveiling. Even Democrats are likely to blanch at cuts to agriculture and other programs that have been tried before – and have failed repeatedly.

    The budget sets aside an additional $250 billion to complete the president's effort to rescue the financial markets and stabilize the banking sector. That would come on top of the $700 billion already allocated by Congress. And it is likely to grow. The budget makes clear that the reserve would be used to leverage the purchase of toxic assets weighing down the banking sector's books, $750 billion in asset purchases overall. That could mean a doubling of the original bailout in the end.
    [President Obama, accompanied by Budget Director Peter Orszag (right) and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, speaks about his fiscal 2010 federal budget on Thursday morning.] Associated Press

    President Obama, accompanied by Budget Director Peter Orszag (right) and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, speaks about his fiscal 2010 federal budget on Thursday morning.
    The Obama Budget


    Mr. Obama proposes large increases in education funding, including indexing Pell Grants for higher education to inflation and converting the popular scholarship to an automatic "entitlement" program. High-speed rail would gain a $1 billion-a-year grant program, part of a larger effort to boost infrastructure spending even beyond the funds in his $787 billion stimulus plan.

    The Defense Department would see a $20.4 billion boost in 2010, a 4% increase from this year, slowing its growth from the Bush years but securing personnel increases for the Army and Marine Corps. Mr. Obama will request an additional $75.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the rest of 2009 and another $130 billion for 2010, as he withdraws most combat troops from Iraq over 19 months but sends many of them to Afghanistan.

    In one of the budget's most ambitious proposals, the president plans to cap the emissions of greenhouse gases, forcing polluters to purchase permits for emissions that would be slowly brought down to 14% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% below 2005 levels by 2050. The sale of those permits, beginning in 2012, would reap $646 billion through 2019. Of those revenues, $525.7 billion would be devoted to extending Mr. Obama's signature "Making Work Pay" $800 tax credit for working couples. Another $120 billion would go to clean energy technology.

    He acknowledged his $630 billion fund for a national health insurance program will not be enough to ensure access to health care for all Americans, but he said it will be a start.
    Budget Stepping Stones

    View Interactive

    See the steps by which the federal budget will be finalized in the coming months.

    To finance his proposals, the president has clearly chosen winners and losers -- with the affluent heading the list of losers. In populist tones that reflect an anger he notably avoided on the campaign trail, Mr. Obama wrote, "Prudent investments in education, clean energy, health care, and infrastructure were sacrificed for huge tax cuts for the wealthy and well-connected. In the face of these trade-offs, Washington has ignored the squeeze on middle-class families that is making it harder for them to get ahead… There's nothing wrong with making money, but there is something wrong when we allow the playing field to be tilted so far in the favor of so few."

    In that sense, the budget is payback. As expected, taxes will rise for singles earning $200,000 and couples earning $250,000, beginning in 2011 -- for a total windfall of $656 billion over 10 years. Income tax hikes would raise $339 billion alone. Limits on personal exemptions and itemized deductions would bring in another $180 billion. Higher capital gains rates would bring in $118 billion. The estate tax, scheduled to be repealed next year, would instead be preserved, with the value of estates over $3.5 million -- $7 million for couples -- taxed at 45%.
    [Budget Salve]

    Businesses would be hit, too. The budget envisions reaping $210 billion over the next decade by limiting the ability of U.S.-based multinational companies to shield overseas profits from taxation. Another $24 billion would come from hedge fund and private equity managers, whose income would be taxed at income tax rates, not capital gains rates. Oil and gas companies would be hit particularly hard, with the repeal of multiple tax credits and deductions.

    The federal government would take over most student lending. Managed care companies would lose their subsidies for offering Medicare plans. Farmers with operating incomes over $500,000 would see their farm subsidies phased out. And cotton storage would no longer be financed by the federal government.


    "There are times where you can afford to redecorate your house, and there are times where you need to focus on rebuilding its foundation," Mr. Obama said as he unveiled his plan. "Today we have to focus on foundations."

    Write to Jonathan Weisman at jonathan.weisman@wsj.com



  3. #3
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    7,917

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by InaF3157 View Post
    If only pledges meant squat, and bigger governments and more programs shrank spending. :rolli:
    Come on, now.
    The article goes into how program spending will be cut in the budget for the next few years. Mostly focusing on health care spending.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Posts
    4,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    The article goes into how program spending will be cut in the budget for the next few years. Mostly focusing on health care spending.
    Seems rather foolish to me. Now seems like a pretty good time for deficit spending.

  5. #5
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    7,917

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Seems rather foolish to me. Now seems like a pretty good time for deficit spending.
    Yeah but the idea is to get it out there that the administration has fiscal responsibility. The proposed cuts will take part over the course of the next few years.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Posts
    4,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Yeah but the idea is to get it out there that the administration has fiscal responsibility. The proposed cuts will take part over the course of the next few years.
    Ah, politics, so healthy for the nation.

    Not that I find this the least bit likely in the big scheme of things. Just as it's not like states will not take the money from the stimulus, neither will they allow cuts into anything that would affect them. And reductions in federal systems will just cause the states to have to raise it themselves, one way or another... especially in the states that receive net transfers.

    It's all posturing, and with such large numbers, in the long run it tends to mirror the rational pressures pretty well.

  7. #7
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    MBTI
    intp
    Posts
    3,198

    Default

    I'm still wondering what the point of this thread was. There's no reason to believe the cuts would be feasible/likely given the road they've started on, or that they're reasonably certain to occur, given the current and predicted economic climate. He only said it so he doesn't look like the typical tax and spend fan suggested by the budget he outlined. Sooo . . . Are you soliciting opinions on whether he'll be able to make good on it, or whether it was smart politics to pledge it even if it is unlikely or what?
    hoarding time and space
    A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
    — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  8. #8
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    7,917

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Ah, politics, so healthy for the nation.

    Not that I find this the least bit likely in the big scheme of things. Just as it's not like states will not take the money from the stimulus, neither will they allow cuts into anything that would affect them. And reductions in federal systems will just cause the states to have to raise it themselves, one way or another... especially in the states that receive net transfers.

    It's all posturing, and with such large numbers, in the long run it tends to mirror the rational pressures pretty well.
    As far as state cooperation goes, it's seems like all will except stimulus spending, while some Republican governors in the south will try to reject a few percent of the funds. It's politics, and a lot of people seem to hate the player and the game. That doesn't do any good.

    Quote Originally Posted by InaF3157 View Post
    I'm still wondering what the point of this thread was. There's no reason to believe the cuts would be feasible/likely given the road they've started on, or that they're reasonably certain to occur, given the current and predicted economic climate. He only said it so he doesn't look like the typical tax and spend fan suggested by the budget he outlined. Sooo . . . Are you soliciting opinions on whether he'll be able to make good on it, or whether it was smart politics to pledge it even if it is unlikely or what?
    I wouldn't say it's unlikely, it's a very ambitious plan. I don't think most people would even imagine the deficit to get cut in half so soon.

    In the 90s the Clinton administration focused on deficit reduction, while supporting spending on certain issues, and the government reached a budget surplus. So it's definitely possible.

  9. #9
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    MBTI
    intp
    Posts
    3,198

    Default

    Except this ain't quite the nineties - this administration has greater challenges that make the type of fiscal responsibility to which they pay lip service decidedly more difficult to accomplish. And he's no Clinton. Look at who bears the new tax burdens. The spending outlined in the budget is off the charts -- greater scope and depth than in Clinton's more centrist, less populist administration.

    Then again, a good chunk of the proposed spending possibly won't go through, but still.
    hoarding time and space
    A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
    — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #10
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Posts
    4,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    As far as state cooperation goes, it's seems like all will except stimulus spending, while some Republican governors in the south will try to reject a few percent of the funds. It's politics, and a lot of people seem to hate the player and the game. That doesn't do any good.
    Ironically, they'll reject improvements to the employment insurance/welfare systems. That'll be supporting their voters. That are likely to lose their jobs. Curious who ends up getting the blame for that, or if those that do lose their jobs change their tune on it making people lazy. Probably not.

    Jindal was utterly hillarious to listen to though.

    /me finds the whole thing deeply amusing

Similar Threads

  1. [ISFP] How to make an ISFP fall in L-O-V-E
    By CzeCze in forum The SP Arthouse (ESFP, ISFP, ESTP, ISTP)
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 06-20-2014, 03:31 PM
  2. On how to keep children from dying in their sleep
    By G-Virus in forum The Bonfire
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 01-28-2009, 01:22 PM
  3. [NT] Tendency to cut people out? (Rationals)
    By DigitalMethod in forum The NT Rationale (ENTP, INTP, ENTJ, INTJ)
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 07-01-2008, 11:49 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO