Tags: emanuel | obama | deficit

Rahm Emanuel: Obama Will Cut Deficit

By Dan Weil   |   Thursday, 19 Nov 2009 10:32 AM

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel says a long-term budget deficit reduction plan will be a major focus of President Obama’s January State of the Union address.

“It is foremost on his mind and the mind of the economic team,” Emanuel said of deficit reduction at a Washington, D.C. conference.

The deficit exploded to a record $1.4 trillion in the year ended Sept. 30, or about 10 percent of GDP.

And some predict it will soon rise as high as $2 trillion.

Even by 2019, the deficit will still total as much as 4 percent of GDP, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The deficit has soared as the recession depressed tax revenue, the $787 billion stimulus package increased government spending and bailouts in the banking and auto industries did the same.

The Obama administration may have a rocky path to achieve its goals of boosting employment and cutting deficits at the same time.

That’s because many of the proposals to reduce the unemployment rate — 10.2 percent as of October — entail either increased government spending or lower tax revenue.

The OMB has proposed using some of the $210 billion unspent money in the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for deficit reduction.

That idea has support among economists.

“Right now what we've got could turn into a $700 billion (congressional) slush fund,” Douglas Elliott of the Brookings Institution told The Wall Street Journal.

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White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel says a long-term budget deficit reduction plan will be a major focus of President Obama’s January State of the Union address.“It is foremost on his mind and the mind of the economic team,” Emanuel said of deficit reduction at a...
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