Washington: Asserting that half a million jobs have been created this year and 6.5 million new ones in the last three years, the US President Barack Obama on Saturday said his annual budget to be sent to the Congress next week would be a fiscally responsible blue print for the middle-class jobs and growth.
"If we want to keep rebuilding this economy on a stronger,sturdier foundation for growth - growth that creates good, middle-class jobs - we need to make smarter choices.
"This week, I'll send the budget to Congress that will help do just that - a fiscally-responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth," Obama said in his weekly radio and web address to the nation.
Noting that for years, an argument in Washington has raged between reducing the country's deficits at all costs, and making the investments needed to grow the economy, Obama said his budget puts that argument to rest.
"Because we don't have to choose between these goals - we can do both. After all, as we saw in the 1990s, nothing reduces deficits faster than a growing economy," he said.
"My budget will reduce our deficits not with aimless, reckless spending cuts that hurt students and seniors and middle-class families - but through the balanced approach that the American people prefer, and the investments that a growing economy demands," he said.
"Now, the truth is, our deficits are already shrinking. That's a fact. I've already signed more than USD 2.5 trillion in deficit reduction into law, and my budget will reduce our deficits by nearly USD 2 trillion more, without harming the recovery. That surpasses the goal of USD 4 trillion in deficit reduction that many economists believe will stabilise our finances," Obama added.
"We'll make the tough reforms required to strengthen Medicare for the future, without undermining the rock-solid guarantee at its core," Obama said in the address.
"And we'll enact commonsense tax reform that includes closing wasteful tax loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected - loopholes like the ones that can allow a billionaire to pay a lower tax rate than his or her secretary," he added.
Obama said to make America a magnet for good jobs, the US will invest in high-tech manufacturing and homegrown American energy, put people to work building new roads, bridges, and schools, and cut red tape to help businesses grow.
"To give workers the skills they need to do those jobs, we'll invest in education that begins in the earliest years, and job training that better equips workers to compete in a 21st century economy.
"To make sure hard work is rewarded, we'll build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class, and focus on revitalising some of our communities hardest-hit by recession and job loss," he said.
"All of these investments will help grow the economy and create jobs. None of them will add to the deficit. And I will lay out these priorities in greater detail in the days ahead," he said, noting that it will be a budget that doesn't spend beyond its means.
"It is a budget that doesn't make harsh and unnecessary cuts that only serve to slow our economy.
"We'll keep our promise to an ageing generation by shoring up Medicare. And we'll keep our promise to the next generation by investing in the fundamentals that have always made America strong - manufacturing and innovation, energy and education," Obama said ahead of his budget presentation.
First Published: Saturday, April 6, 2013, 17:49