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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama unveils crisis budget - USD3.55 Trillion.

US President Barack Obama unveiled an anti-crisis budget yesterday as key global companies reported huge losses and Iceland's parliament ousted the central bank chief blamed in the country’s economic meltdown.

Obama rolled out an audacious US$3.55 trillion (RM13.06 trillion) budget bristling with economic fixes and spending on healthcare and climate change but warned “hard choices” loomed as he targets a huge deficit.

The plan includes more than US$600 billion over 10 years for a “down payment” on healthcare reform and a similar annual sum for defense, and encompasses Obama's drive to arrest the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.

“This budget is an honest accounting of where we are and where we intend to go,” Obama said at the White House,.

“There are some hard choices that lie ahead,” the president said, formally unveiling a budget which assumes major cost savings from a planned drawdown of the US garrison in Iraq which currently costs US$170 billion a year.

The US budget proposals project economic contraction of 1.2 per cent in 2009 and a deficit for the fiscal year ending September 30 of 12.3 per cent of US gross domestic product — the biggest deficit since World War II.

Some analysts said the economic assumptions are too optimistic.

But Cary Leahey at Decision Economics said administration officials “may feel they have to be cheerleaders for the economy and if they are too glum they don't want to have a self-fulfilling prophesy.”


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