President’s Goal: Halving the Deficit by 2013

Feb 22, 2009 9:17am

A White House official tells ABC News that the President on Monday will announce that he will try to put the nation on track to cut the deficit in half from that which he inherited by the end of his first term.

Most of the savings will come from ending the war in Iraq, raising taxes on the wealthy, and a more efficient government.

"Over time, the budget deficit will make it harder for our economy to grow and create jobs," the official said. "That’s why the President’s budget for FY 2010 puts us on the path to cut the deficit he inherited on January 20, 2009 in half by the end of his first term."

The official pointed out that the deficit the Obama administration inherited was $1.3 trillion — 9.2 percent of GDP. By 2013, the end of the President’s first term, the official said, the president’s budget would cut the deficit to $533 billion-or 3.0 percent of GDP.

"Most of the savings will come from winding down the war in Iraq; increased revenue from those making more than $250,000 a year; and savings from making government work more

efficiently and eliminating programs that do not work," the official said.

The president will also deride accounting tricks of previous administrations. (Not counting the war costs in the budgets, for instance.)

Added the White House official: "Pretending that the budget has this money available may be gratifying, but it’s an accounting sleight-of-hand, not reality. We should not tolerate these kinds of tricks when it comes to accounting for the public’s tax dollars. "

These themes will be sounded during the president’s fiscal responsibility summit on Monday, his address to Congress on Tuesday evening, and as he submits his FY 2010 budget on Thursday.

- jpt

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