Obama Plans to Slash Deficit by 2013
Goal hinges on Iraqi withdrawal, letting Bush's tax cuts lapse
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2009 10:33 PM CST
President Barack Obama listens as Vice President Joe Biden speaks to mayors from cities across the United States, Friday, Feb. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – Having proved he can get the government to pony up $787 billion to stimulate the economy, President Obama will now attempt to highlight his frugal side. Obama will unveil a budget Thursday that aims to cut the deficit—which could climb to $1.9 trillion in 2009—to $533 million by the end of his first term, the Wall Street Journal reports. The main savings would come from the Iraqi troop withdrawal and from letting Bush's tax cuts for wealthy families expire in 2011.

Obama's forecast also counts on the economy recovering before 2013, the Journal notes. The deficit is currently running at about 9% of GDP, and Obama's plan would get it to about 3%. The president convenes a so-called fiscal responsibility summit on Monday to begin looking at issues such as Medicare and Social Security. On Tuesday, he will speak to a joint session of Congress about the dangers of the national debt—the accumulation of all these yearly deficits—which is now nearing $11 trillion.