WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama sent the U.S. Congress a $3.83-trillion budget on Monday that would pour more money into the fight against high unemployment, boost taxes on the wealthy and freeze spending for a wide swath of government programmes.
The deficit for this year would surge to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion, topping last year’s then unprecedented $1.41-trillion gap. The deficit would remain above $1 trillion in 2011, although Mr. Obama proposed to institute a three-year budget freeze beginning in 2011 on a variety of programmes outside of the military and homeland security as well as increasing taxes on energy producers and families making more than $2,50,000.
Echoing the pledge in his State of the Union address to make job creation his top priority, Mr. Obama put forward a budget that included a $100-billion jobs measure that would provide tax breaks to encourage businesses to boost hiring as well as increased government spending on infrastructure and energy projects. He called for fast congressional action to speed relief to millions left unemployed in the worst recession since the 1930s.
Mr. Obama’s new budget attempts to navigate between the opposing goals of pulling the country out of a deep recession and getting control of runaway budget deficits.
Mr. Obama’s budget seeks a $33 billion increase in a supplemental appropriation this year for the military and $159.3 billion in 2011 to support Mr. Obama’s boost strategy to deal with the terrorist threat in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
NASA’s mission to return astronauts to the moon would be grounded, with the space agency instead getting an additional $5.9 billion over five years to encourage private companies to build, launch and operate their own spacecraft for the benefit of NASA and others. NASA would pay the private companies to carry U.S. astronauts.
Mr. Obama’s job proposals would push government spending in 2010 to $3.72 trillion, up 5.7 per cent from last year. Mr. Obama’s blueprint for the 2011 budget year, which begins October 1, would increase spending further to $3.83 trillion. — AP