January 31st, 2010
01:11 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama committed to deficit reduction pledge, aide says

Washington (CNN) – President Obama remains committed to his pledge to cut the federal budget deficit by late 2012, a White House spokesman said Sunday.

Soon after taking office last year, the president pledged to reduce by half the budget deficit his administration inherited from his predecessor.

Asked about that pledge on State of the Union, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told CNN’s John King that Obama “is committed to keeping that goal, understanding, that as you said, this recession was deeper than we thought it was going to be.”

On Monday, Gibbs said, Obama will outline some steps intended to reduce the deficit, including a freeze on non-security-related, discretionary spending.

As the deficit has reached historic levels not seen in many decades, the Obama administration has come under increasing pressure to rein in federal spending. In response, the White House has announced its support for a number of measures meant to reduce the deficit, including a bipartisan commission that would advise Congress about spending and revenue, the re-institution of a “pay-as-you-go” rule for federal spending and the spending freeze mentioned by Gibbs.

The Senate recently rejected a proposal for a bipartisan commission whose recommendations would’ve been binding on Congress. Obama has plans to set up a similar body by executive order; its recommendations would not be binding. The proposal to re-institute “pay-as-you-go” limits on federal spending was recently approved by the Senate.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Why is it so hard for right wingnuts to see that Bush, Bush2, or even their Messiah (Reagan), created a higher percentage of debt than any democratic president has? Being one of the top three for national debt is not something I would be proud of if I was a fiscal conservative.

    January 31, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Lois in CA

    Color me possibly misinformed, but don't we have a law in place that requires a balanced budget? Whatever happened to fiscal responsibility? Oh, I forgot. Bush, and endless war. My bad.

    January 31, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Hannah

    So the Democratic administration is committed to reducing or eradicating the deficit. Didn't Clinton, a Democrat, do the same thing at the Republicans urging and then the Republicans came into office, salivating over the excess money in the treasury and they turned right around, started two wars, gave tax cuts to the rich and wiped out the surplus and turned it into a deficit. Are they intending to do that again. Conservatives love to spend on war while giving tax braeks to the wealthy so the middle class can pay for everything. Don't vote Republican ever.

    January 31, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. Mike in MN

    In a few months Obama's promised efforts to reduce the deficit will look like a joke. Republicans will start campaigning and their message will be to reduce spending now.
    Obama promises to freeze a very small portion of the budget next year. I just saw that his proposed budget he will send to congress is for 3.8 trillion dollars, up 300 billion from last years 3.5 trillion. And the 3.5 trillion was hundreds of billions more than the last budget under Bush.
    Republicans running for the House and Senate will in contrast promise to reducing spending by hundreds of billions of dollars to reduce the deficit. They would cut the new budget form 3.5 trillion to 3.1 to 3.2 trillion instead of increasing it to 3.8 trillion. They will campaign to not spend the remaining 300 to 400 billion of the stimulus scheduled to be spent in 2011 and 2012.
    The contrast is going to be stark. Voters are saying the spending is out of control. The Republican position will be very popular with a large majority of voters. The Dems will be crushed.

    January 31, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. TCM

    How noble. Now that he's run us into debt by carelessly spending our money, he's going to raise our taxes to pay for his incompetence...what hope and change!

    January 31, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Americans are fatigued from empty promises and endless speeches from the Obama administration. How about if you actually make something good happen and then you can take credit for it instead of the other way around?

    January 31, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. JonDie

    From 1981 to 1989, Ronald Reagan created more deficit than all over previous administrations combined...and the media said NOTHING.

    From 2001 to 2009, Bush created more than a trillion dollars of deficit to fight the unnecessary war in Iraq...and the media said almost NOTHING.

    This lack of intelligence of the part of voters who elect Republicans seems to be endemic, systemic and cyclical.

    January 31, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Gary P.

    Oh, good! And we all know that we can trust Mr. Obama's promises and pledges. It gives me a warm feeling, kind of like when one pees his pants.

    January 31, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Republicans are trying to stop President Obama because he is now doing what he promised, going through every line item of the Government agencies/budgets that aren't needed that will reduce the deficit. Obama is just getting started on something that should have been done before war. He will reduce the deficit, there are too many funded agencies we don't need.

    January 31, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. Lorita

    Here's what I don't get. If the budget is larger than the distance to the moon, then why all the expense of security for a trial for enemy combatants? If American Citizens are constantly being castigated for 'frivolous' law suits, then how come law suit for people who already confessed to crime, this is even beyond terrorist. If a person is caught with the hand in the cookie jar or has coke on the nose at the drug bust or whatever, then why court? I don't get all this double standard. American people are disregarded but these creeps who's doctrines are about liquidating infidels have all rights? This country has been attacked numerous times, this century, last century, the century this country had the Continental Congress. So how about a Reality Check here you Fools on the Hill.

    January 31, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Everyone can live on 10% less; that's doubly true of government agencies. All no-defense spending should be immediately cut 10% this fiscal year. Why is Obama waiting until 2012? Cut NOW, NOW, NOW!!!

    January 31, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |