President Obama today said his $3.834 trillion budget for the upcoming fiscal year contains measures that will help boost employment and economic growth. He called on members of Congress to zero in on waste.
The president began his comments by rebuking the previous administration's economic policies.
"Our government is deeply in debt after what can only be described as a decade of profligacy," Obama said at the White House.
"We can't simply move beyond this crisis," he said . "We have to address the irresponsibility that led to it."
"Changing spending as usual depends on changing politics as usual," Obama said, asking members of Congress to follow his lead on reducing "waste in programs I care about."
"The bottom line is this: We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don't have consequences, as if waste doesn't matter, as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like monopoly money, as if we can ignore this challenge for another generation. We can't," the president said.
The 2011 budget, which begins Oct. 1, is more than the current budget of $3.721 trillion, and the 2009 budget, presented by President Bush, of $3.518 trillion.
There was little reaction from Democrats on Capitol Hill today, but some Republican leaders panned the president's proposals.
"President Obama is submitting another budget that spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much," House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. "Under President Obama's budget, the federal government will continue to live well beyond its means for years to come with no relief in sight.
Others were less fiery but critical nevertheless.
"While spending is going up, taxes are going up even faster. Taxes on Americans will increase by over $400 billion -- nearly 20 percent -- next year alone, with no improvement in sight. Does anyone truly believe this is a good time to raise taxes on job creators, or anyone else?" said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
"This budget provides a startling figure that should stop us all in our tracks," he added. "According to the administration's budget, the interest on the federal debt is expected to be nearly 6 trillion dollars over the next decade. We've all heard about interest-only loans, but this is the equivalent of an average of $600 billion dollars in interest every year. That's an astonishing number."
Obama today called specifically on McConnell and Boehner to look for ways to cut spending.
The 2011 budget includes $1.415 trillion in discretionary spending and a $1.267 trillion budget deficit, representing 8.3 percent of the gross domestic product. A daunting number, the deficit represents a slight improvement from the budget of 2010, when it was $1.556 trillion, representing 10.6 percent of GDP.
The Obama administration said the budget deficit would peak in 2010, and the president today warned that the road ahead may not be so easy.
"We won't be able to bring down this deficit overnight," Obama said. "We will continue to do what it takes to create jobs."