Obama unveils deficit reduction plan

September 19th, 2011 - 11:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Sep 19 (IANS) President Barack Obama Monday unveiled plans to reduce the US deficit and to kick-start economic growth.

“Washington has to live within its means,” Obama said in a speech at the White House. He urged both Democratic and Republican parties to take responsibility to address the country’s debt challenge.

“This will be the biggest spending cut in (US) history,” Xinhua quoted him as saying. Everyone must pay a “fair share”, including the wealthy and big corporations, he said.

“If we are going to make spending cuts… then it is only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share.”

According to a fact sheet released by the White House, Obama’s plan will raise about $4.4 trillion in deficit cut.

Besides the $1.5 trillion tax increase, $1.2 trillion will be saved from discretionary cuts, $1.1 trillion from drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and transition from a military to a civilian-led mission in Iraq.

It will also reform a wide range of mandatory programmes, including social welfare. It also hopes to save $430 billion in additional interest payments.

The White House expects that the US deficit to GDP ratio, currently about 9 percent, to fall to 2.3 percent in 2021.

However, the new plan is believed to have little chance of getting through Congress in one piece.

Republicans have consistently opposed any measures resembling tax hikes, saying they will hurt the struggling US economy.

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