5 yr spending freeze to reduce USD 400 billion deficit: Obama

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Lalit K Jha

Washington, Feb 12 (PTI) US president Barack Obama hassaid a five year freeze on annual domestic spending willreduce the country�s deficit by more than USD 400 billion overthe next decade.

�My budget freezes annual domestic spending for the nextfive years � even on programmes I care deeply about � whichwill reduce the deficit by more than USD 400 billion over thenext decade,� Obama said.

He said this in his weekly address to the nation, inwhich he gave a preview of his budget next week.

�This freeze will bring this type of spending to itslowest level as a share of the economy since Dwight Eisenhowerwas president.

We�ve stripped down the budget by getting rid of waste,�he said.

�For example, we�re getting rid of thousands ofgovernment-owned buildings that sit empty because they aren�tneeded,� he added.

�I�ve also proposed freezing salaries for hardworkinggovernment employees, because everyone has to do their part.

I�m going to make sure politics doesn�t add to ourdeficit, by vetoing any bill that contains earmarks,� Obamasaid.

�After a decade of rising deficits, this budget asksWashington to live within its means, while at the same timeinvesting in our future.

It cuts what we can�t afford to pay for what we cannot dowithout. That�s what families do in hard times.

And that�s what our country has to do too,� Obama added.

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