The fiscal year 2012 budget will not be released until Monday, but President Barack Obama previewed his upcoming budget during his weekly radio address on Saturday.
He said his budget would force Washington to “live within our means” and compared the budget-making process to families who have to make difficult decisions to get by.
“Families across this country understand what it takes to manage a budget,” Obama said in his address. “They understand what it takes to make ends meet without forgoing important investments like education. Well, it’s time Washington acted as responsibly as our families do.”
While he did not use his address to mention too many specifics of what he would propose, he once again said his budget would call on a five-year spending freeze on all domestic spending. The Obama Administration has said the freeze would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion during the next 10 years. The president also said the budget would get rid of wasteful spending while making investments in infrastructure, clean energy and education – areas the president has said would make the United States more globally competitive in an effort to “win the future.”
“We’ve stripped down the budget by getting rid of waste,” he said. “For example, we’re getting rid of thousands of government-owned buildings that sit empty because they aren’t needed. I’ve also proposed freezing salaries for hard-working government employees, because everyone has to do their part. And I’m going to make sure politics doesn’t add to our deficit by vetoing any bill that contains earmarks.”
Even though President Obama officially will not release his budget until Monday, his calls for investments in infrastructure such as roads, bridges, runways, high-speed rail and technologies; education; and clean energy already have caused Republicans to push back against that idea. They have claimed those investments were wasteful spending and another economic “stimulus” the country could not afford and the American people did not want; however, the administration has said it would argue next week that the GOP’s plans for spending cuts, especially to infrastructure and education, were irresponsible and more for short-term political gain than for what is best for the country in the long run.
“So, after a decade of rising deficits, this budget asks Washington to live within its means, while at the same time investing in our future,” Obama said. “It cuts what we can’t afford, to pay for what we cannot do without. That’s what families do in hard times. And that’s what our country has to do as well.”
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