Obama set to forecast large budget deficit

United States President Barack Obama’s budget to be released on Monday will project a $1.3-trillion deficit for the current fiscal year, slightly higher than $1.296-trillion in 2011, an administration official said.

Obama’s last annual budget before he seeks reelection in November will also project a $901-billion deficit for fiscal year 2013 (beginning October 2012), and will frame his campaign trail message of a fair fight for all.

The spending plan, details of which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, will also include more than $350-billion for short-term job creation programmes.

The official confirmed that the proposal also includes $476-billion in infrastructure spending on roads and other transport projects and includes more than $360-billion in savings from government-run health programmes for seniors and the poor.

The budget is likely to mirror a spending plan laid out to avert a government shutdown in September.

Meanwhile US Treasury figures for the first four months of fiscal 2012 showed that the US sliced its deficit by 16.6% from a year earlier.

A 3.2% cut in spending coupled with a sharp rise in tax receipts helped bring down the four-month deficit to $349-billion from $419-billion a year before.

The main boost to government income came from the corporate sector, where refunds shrank by nearly half and tax payments rose 8.5%.—AFP