Last Updated:August 21 @ 10:40 am

Deficits to be hot topic in 1st debate

By Tom Raum

(AP) - As both presidential candidates dug in for debate preparations, a new budget year began Monday with little fanfare, resetting the federal deficit clock to once again begin its steep annual ascent.

The economy's painfully slow recovery and soaring deficits will be major topics in Denver at Wednesday's first presidential debate, to focus on domestic issues.

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney both have pledged to reduce deficits and shrink the national debt if elected. But neither has offered detailed plans to do either anytime soon.

Shortly after his inauguration in January 2009, Obama pledged to cut the budget deficit, then $1.3 trillion, in half by the end of his first term.

When fiscal 2012 ended at midnight Sunday, the outgoing 12-month yearly deficit was again $1.3 trillion - the fourth consecutive year it has exceeded $1 trillion.

The deficits have helped push the national debt to a shade over $16 trillion, up from $10.7 trillion when Obama took office.

The White House predicts the deficit will fall below $1 trillion in this new budget year - but not by much - to $901 billion.

Obama has long since stopped talking up his old goal of reducing deficits in half. Now, he generally speaks of cutting them by a cumulative $4 trillion or so over the next 10 years.

Romney proposes capping federal spending at 20 percent of economic output, or gross domestic product, by the end of his first term. By contrast, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that Obama's programs would bring government spending to 22 percent of GDP.

Spending is now running around 23 percent of GDP.

Obama was working with his debate team at a Nevada resort. Romney was practicing in Massachusetts, then flying to Denver for an evening rally and more debate practice.

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14 Comments

  1. colt1911Comment by colt1911
    October 2, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    The freeloaders, fruit-cakes and Liberal Elitists outnumber the Patriots for the first time in our history. The best we can hope for is to hold the house and maintain at least 40% in the Senate. Tough times are ahead for traditional, conservative tax paying citizens.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      October 2, 2012 @ 11:58 am

      Just what value are Abortion rights, women’s issues, racial preferences or even clean air when you have lost your job, your home, lost your marriage and lost your Country. First regain your job, your home, your lost country and then you will be strong enough again to properly address all the above issues in united clarity, not divided class warfare which is all Obama and the democrats have to offer you. They are not builders but destroying redistributors of all that you and your family have created in the past. The seduction of their hope and change they offer for the future never DOES arrive when your future does, just the bill to pay for their failed promises and failed socialist experiments that defy the laws of nature itself.

      Yes hunger does motivate, and there are 23 million motivated unemployed hungry Americans who have had four years to witness the non-reality of the hope Obama has offered with change only for the worse. ( Colt1911′s are great guns but I prefer the Walther PPK for concealment)

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    • colt1911Comment by colt1911
      October 2, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

      Amen to all inluminatuo. The 1911 would would be my choice if we ever progress to optional open carry. I too prefer something smaller for a concealed handgun down here in Texas.

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  2. powertothepeopleComment by powertothepeople
    October 2, 2012 @ 10:35 am

    Congress shares in this mess and too must be brought to a reckoning for their ways.

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    • colt1911Comment by colt1911
      October 2, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

      Yes, but they might be our only defense against the current Socialist in power.

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  3. billsComment by bills
    October 2, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    HOW TO SLASH THE DEBT IN A WAY THAT CAN BE EASILY EXPLAINED TO TAX PAYERS AND CAN MINIMIZE THE ABILITY OF THE DEMOCRATS TO FIGHT THE ACTIONS.
    The debt commission was just window dressing and did not address the core and fundamental problem which is the bloated federal bureaucracy. Rather than take away benefits from the tax payers that have been funded by the tax payers, why not deal with the above. If the debt problem was being addressed correctly it would result in the downsizing or elimination of departments and many employees. I would anticipate that enough redundancy, waste, duplication or worthless services, would be identified that their elimination would quickly bring the budget into balance. It would certainly cause an uptick in the unemployment number but I would expect that the unemployed in the private sector would not shed a tear.

    As part of the process in identifying federal programs and departments that should be cut or eliminated, the Republicans should use the same criteria that insurance companies must meet in Obamacare. Specifically the maximum that is allowed for admin expenses is 20% of the premiums collected and benefits paid out. Given that the government does not have to meet a bottom-line profit to stay in business, let alone grow, I would suggest that the admin expenses for government programs be limited to 10% of the benefits(if they even exist) provided. Each department should be required to build a “Zero-based budget” plan to justify both its existence and spending programs based upon measurable objectives and returns. I expect this would cut or eliminate many departments, and duplicate and useless programs. This is a process used by many businesses and I cannot understand why so many of the Republicans in Congress who have a business background do not jump on it as an accepted and proven way to address the debt. I also expect that there would be much waste found in the administration of the “entitlement programs”. By removing this it could make a major contribution to dealing with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security running out of money.

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  4. billwvComment by billwv
    October 2, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    The House for two years have manned up with budgets and recommended cuts to spending; BUT [slinky/slimy] Dingy Harry refuses to bring House legislation to the floor of the Senate for open consideration. I say vote and elect a majority GOP Senate / End Dingy Harry’s one man RULE.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      October 2, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

      A Congressional house divided cannot stand;
      Mark3:25
      “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.

      Obama and the Democarats have entered the strong men’s houses of America and either driven them out with the free offer of welfare or tied them up with poltical correctness. They have divided the Congressional Houses of the People and divided the people of our Kingdom against one another and made metrosexual weak devils out of all of us. Unless we drive these Devilish dividers out our House will surely fall. It is time to untie our strong American men and women and rid us of all these mindles discrimination laws that create a country of equal weaklings, that discrininate against everything but failure, and thus encourage failure. Let men be men again and women be women again so that the best, not the worst of each gender can prevail over the unnatural state of existence our gender neutral politicians have used to bind up the strength of our nation.

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  5. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    October 2, 2012 @ 11:35 am

    All the Congressional posturing will do nothing until they can put an end to the abuse of ‘Executive Orders’ that circumvent every law on the books.

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    • colt1911Comment by colt1911
      October 2, 2012 @ 11:45 am

      I don’t believe the power of executive order will ever be eliminated but I would hope a patriotic majority would vote to repeal them.

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  6. gegeComment by gege
    October 2, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    I personally am in favor of replacing our currentCongress and Senate at the next election for them. There is not oneIcan see, concerned with the country or its citizens. Many issues anger me that are left unmentioned by congress or senate that after me writing them, give me answers, and if they do respond it is not the responce i expect,it sometimes is laughable because it is a lame responce

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  7. oklahomaComment by oklahoma
    October 2, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    Why do our representatives always think that the only way to raise revenue is to raise taxes? If the government would get out of the way the people would be put back to work and result in more revenue. I don’t hear any one saying this.
    Further, if the federal government would limit expenditures to those authorized by article 1, section 8 and the 9th and 10 amendments to our Constitution they could balance the budget on the money they now collect. We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem!

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  8. gnafuComment by gnafu
    October 2, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    I’m all for replacing congressmen/ladies who are running out of steam and terms are up. If they have never voted in a manner to decrease spending and stop the president from taking this country down a rat hole, they need to be retired without retirement pay. They have not worked for those who elected them so they do not get rewarded for NON SERVICE. I’m also in favor of Romney to take the helm and bring U.S. back to some normalcy. Obama dwells on colonialism when he should be attending to America’s TODAY issues. Replacing Obama with Romney and new ideas implemented to destroy the Socialism aspect won’t happen over-night but it will happen if we can endure.We need Romney to go for the throat but in a professional manner. Foreign Aid and Illegal’s ability to live off of American tax payers, are som areas I hope will be discussed. I would also like to listen to Obama’s lies to down-grade our Military. It’s close to very little defense and security for the United States. Romney has his work cut out for him.

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  9. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    October 2, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    How about the Lie that General Motors is alive. GM profits up 1.5%,,,,Volkswagon Profists up 32% in the same period. WHi are they kidding. GM is a zombie corporation whose stock is controlled now by the government and the Unions, the people who caused GM’s demise in the first place. Thier IPO issue of new post bankruptcy GM stick at $37/share has fallen in the real marketplace to $23/share and will have to rise to $53/share for the taxpayers to ever get their money back. Just imagine what they have doen to the stock and credit worthyness of our American government finances? Of course GM cannot print money.

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