Washington: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday presented USD 3.77 trillion annual budget which he said will not only reduce the budget deficit but will also make America "a magnet for good jobs" and put the country on the path of economic prosperity.
Obama described it as a "fiscally responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth", while the opposition Republicans were quick to term it as blueprint for recession.
"At a time when too many Americans are still looking for work, my Budget begins by making targeted investments in areas that will create jobs right now, and prime our economy to keep generating good jobs down the road," Obama said in his remarks at the Rose Garden of the White House after sending his annual budget proposals to the Congress.
"To make America a magnet for good jobs, this Budget invests in new manufacturing hubs to help turn regions left behind by globalisation into global centers of high-tech jobs. We will spark new American innovation and industry with cutting-edge research like the initiative I announced to map the human brain and cure disease," he said.
"We'll continue our march towards energy independence and address the threat of climate change. And our Rebuild America Partnership will attract private investment to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our bridges and our schools, in turn attracting even more new business to communities across the country," he said.
Obama said his budget replaces the foolish across-the- board spending cuts that are already hurting the economy.
"And I have to point out that many of the same members of Congress who supported deep cuts are now the ones complaining about them the loudest as they hit their own communities," he said lashing out at the opposition Republican lawmakers.
"My Budget will reduce our deficits by nearly another USD 2 trillion so that all told we will have surpassed the goal of USD 4 trillion in deficit reduction that independent economists believe we need to stabilise our finances. But it does so in a balanced and responsible way, a way that most Americans prefer," Obama asserted.
In an apparent address to the concerns of the opposition Republicans, Obama said he has already met them more than halfway.
"So in the coming days and weeks, I hope that Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they're really as serious about the deficits and debt as they claim to be," he said.
Observing that over the past three years, businesses have created nearly 6.5 million new jobs, Obama said the economy is poised for progress -- as long as Washington doesn?t get in the way.
"Frankly, the American people deserve better than what we've been seeing: a shortsighted, crisis-driven decision- making, like the reckless, across-the-board spending cuts that are already hurting a lot of communities out there -- cuts that economists predict will cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs during the course of this year," he said.
"If we want to keep rebuilding our economy on a stronger, more stable foundation, then we've got to get smarter about our priorities as a nation. And that's what the budget I'm sending to Congress today represents -- a fiscally responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth," he said.
Noting that for years, the debate has raged between reducing deficits at all costs, and making the investments necessary to grow the economy, Obama said that this budget answers that argument.
"Because we can do both. We can grow our economy and shrink our deficits. In fact, as we saw in the 1990s, nothing shrinks deficits faster than a growing economy. That's been my goal since I took office. And that should be our goal going forward," Obama said.
The opposition Republicans were quick to condemn the budget. The Florida Senator Marco Rubio described it as a blueprint for a recession.
"Filled to the brim with middle class tax hikes and debt spending, the recycled liberal ideas in his budget have failed time and again to create real vibrant economic growth for the American people. Our nation needs a plan that reflects the principles of limited government, free enterprise and a strong national defense," he said.
"President Obama's plan taxes and punishes American success, and it encourages long-term dependency on government. The President already got USD 600 billion in tax increases from the fiscal cliff deal struck in January, which I opposed," Rubio said.
"Now he wants over USD 1 trillion more in taxes on retirement savings, small businesses and job creators who can't afford to hire because they're burdened with new costs as they scramble to figure out just what's in ObamaCare.
"It will never even come close to balancing our budget in the next 10 years, leaving it up to future generations to figure out how to stop Washington from spending more money than it takes in," Rubio said.
First Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 22:48