By Kenneth R. Bazinet And Michael Mcauliff
Daily News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON—President Obama unveiled a staggeringly huge budget this morning, telling the country it will take almost $4 trillion to run the U.S. next year.
That will be a whopping $1.75 trillion more than the President expects the government to raise in revenue, creating the largest federal deficit in real dollars since the country was fighting World War II.
The giant numbers are due in part to Obama administration's decision to print all of the red ink, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and national emergencies, which the Bush administration left out.
"This budget is an honest accounting of where we are and where we intend to go," Obama said in releasing the outline of his massive spending plan. "For too long our budget has not told the whole truth about how precious tax dollars are spent."
In spite of the gusher of spending, Obama insisted he's being tight-fisted. He said he's scouring the budget for waste and targeting popular but unnecessary programs for elimination.
"You know, there are times where you can afford to redecorate your house, and there are times where you need to focus on rebuilding its foundation," Obama said. "Today we have to focus on foundations."
He said that previous administrations have left the country in the dire condition that it's in now. "Having inherited a trillion-dollar deficit that will take a long time for us to close, we need to focus on what we need to move the economy forward, not on what's nice to have."
Listing a series of wasteful programs that have already been found, Obama said his administration was already piling up savings in the future.
"In the last 30 days alone, we have already identified $2 trillion in deficit reductions that will help us cut our deficit in half by the end of my first term," Obama said. "No part of my budget will be free from scrutiny or untouched by reform."
"We will each and every one of us have to compromise on certain things we care about but which we simply cannot afford right now," Obama added. "That's a sacrifice we're going to have to make."
Republicans hailed Obama's calls for fiscal responsibility, but said their Democratic colleagues in Congress were on a spending binge.
"Over the last two weeks, Democrats in Congress have spent nearly $2 trillion of Americans' hard-earned money, putting us on the glide path to tax increases on small businesses and a devastating fiscal burden for our children," said House Republican Whip Eric Cantor. "We don't believe these are the kind of choices the President is talking about."
Among the spending Cantor was criticizing was the $410 billion budget bill for the rest of this year that the house passed yesterday. It contains about 8,500 pet projects totaling nearly $8 billion.
Obama said his huge budget for next year would be lean on fat, but heavy on muscle needed to grow the country and the economy.