President Barack Obama released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2012 today. The budget “will help us live within our means while investing in our future,” the president said in a White House video. “It cuts what we can’t afford to pay for what we cannot do without.” His budget freezes annual domestic spending for five years, which he said will reduce deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and it cuts programs the president said he cares deeply about. It also puts tax loopholes under the knife, an effort U.S. News blogger Susan Milligan says will be tricky. “The intricate network of lobbyists and special interests in Washington have made it extremely difficult, politically, to rid either the personal or corporate tax code of deductions and loopholes,” she writes.
But are the cuts enough to get the deficit and national debt on track? “What the president’s budget does is it takes the next step,” says Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew in a White House video, adding that it would bring the country to “a sustainable deficit, in the neighborhood of 3 percent of our economy, in the next decade.”
But many Republicans say the President’s cuts won’t go far enough, arguing that the budget doesn’t display enough of a sense of urgency about the country’s financial situation. “The president has missed an opportunity to show real leadership on the number one issue threatening our country’s future,” Sen. Bob Corker said in a statement today. “As we approach our debt limit of $14.29 trillion, I see no better time to impose a fiscal straitjacket on Washington.”
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