OMB Chief Says Upcoming Budget Will Have a “Very Serious Path of Deficit Reduction”

By Cullen Dirner

Feb 2, 2011 6:35pm

From Sunlen Miller:

President Obama’s budget, set to be released the third week in February, will show a “very serious path of deficit reduction,” OMB Director Jack Lew said in an interview with Reuters today.

"It is going to be a point of distinction that we have to get out of this period of needing to get the economy moving and then switching gears to reducing the deficit," Lew said in an interview in advance of the release this month.

The administration’s budget for Fiscal year 2012 will be unveiled the week of February14th and Republicans have called for deep cuts in the budget.   President Obama gave hints of what he will propose in the new budget, such as the five year spending freeze on non-security discretionary spending – which will aim to lower the deficit by $400 billion in the next ten years.

In the interview will Reuters, Lew did not say what additional cuts were to be proposed.

"There's not going to be a question of not putting a budget out there with tough choices and tough cuts," Lew said. "But there will also be the question of how far do you want to go in some of these areas and what are the consequences of going beyond a certain line.”

Yet the budget chief admitted that there will be a “bit of a bump up” in terms of the deficit due to the tax cuts legislation passed last year at the end of the lame duck session of Congress.

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