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US Budget Deficit to Top Record US$1.56 Tln in Fiscal Year 2010

US President Barack Obama sent Congress a US$3.83-trillion budget in fiscal year 2011 on Monday to boost the fragile economic recovery, with a record- breaking US$1.56-trillion deficit in fiscal year 2010 ending in September.

The budget shortfall in 2010 would equal an unsustainable 10.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), the basic measure of a country's overall economic output.

US President Barack Obama (C) speaks on the 2011 budget at the Capitol Hill in Washington February 1, 2010. [Xinhua]

New Spending measures

The White House said the US$3.83 trillion budget of 2011 is aimed at dealing with the aftermath of the financial, fiscal, housing and unemployment crises, and to lay the foundation of sustainable growth of the US economy.

US President Barack Obama speaks on the 2011 budget at the Capitol Hill in Washington February 1, 2010.[Xinhua]

"This budget embodies the president's efforts to deal with all those situations," said Obama's communications director Dan Pfeiffer, who said the budget contained "tough choices" in a bid to curb spending.

In an effort to fight unemployment crisis, Obama proposed a US$100 billion jobs measure that would provide tax breaks to encourage businesses to boost hiring as well as increased government spending on infrastructure and energy projects. He called for fast congressional action to speed relief to millions left unemployed in the worst recession since the 1930s.

On the anti-recession front, Obama's new budget proposed extending the popular Making Work Pay middle-class tax breaks of 400 dollars per individual and 800 dollars per couple through 2011. They were due to expire after this year.

The budget also proposes making US$250 payments to Social Security recipients to bolster their finances in a year when they are not receiving the normal cost-of-living boost to their benefit checks because of low inflation. Obama will also seek a US$25 billion increase in payments to help recession-battered states.

The Department of Homeland Security would get an additional US$734 million to support the deployment of up to 1,000 advanced imaging airport screening machines and new baggage screening equipment to detect explosives. Those increases represented a response to the Christmas Day bombing attempt on an airliner landing in Detroit.

The president's budget seeks a US$33 billion increase in a supplemental appropriation this year for the military and US$159.3 billion in 2011 to support Obama's boost strategy to deal with the terrorist threat in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Aiming at the longer-run competitiveness, the Obama administration proposes to boost education spending.

The administration said it was proposing the largest funding increase in the history of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a US$3 billion increase to 28 billion dollars plus an additional US$1 billion if Congress agrees to some major changes in the law.

The new budget would also provide an additional US$1.35 billion for the president's Race to the Top challenge, a federal grant program in which 40 states are competing for US$4 billion in education money included in last year's stimulus bill.

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