Friday, February 27, 2009

Barack Obama charts new course with budget

President Barack Obama delivered to Congress Thursday a $ 3.6 billion spending plan that would fund massive new investment in health, energy independence and education by increasing taxes on oil and gas industry, hedge-fund managers, multinational companies and more than 2 million of the country's top revenue.

At the same time, the plan would overhaul programs of federal bureaucracy to enhance assistance for millions of people who have borne the consequences of what Obama called "an era of profound irresponsibility" to help them to pay for school, or training for better jobs and save for retirement, while taking less of their salaries in tax.

The ambitious agenda for the budget year starting in October will not come cheap. This year's budget deficit, swollen by the costs of combating the serious recession hit a record $ 1.75 billion. This represents 12.3 percent of gross domestic product, a loss greater than any time since the end of World War II. While Obama has inherited most of this difference, his budget would provide space for a new round of spending to keep the troubled financial institutions, which can hit $ 750 billion.
Next year's deficit would approach $ 1.2 billion. But Obama proposes to cut roughly in half by the end of the first period, mainly to collect nearly 1 $ one billion in new taxes on the country's highest earners, defined as families with gross income exceeding $ 250,000 per year.

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