Obama to announce government spending freeze

According to administration officials, US president Barack Obama is to announce a partial government spending freeze to try and lower the country’s current US$1.4 trillion deficit in the 2011 budget.

Obama is due to make the announcement tomorrow, in his State of the Union address. The budget cut would not include defence, homeland security, international affairs expenditures, or veterans affairs.

“We are in the midst of fighting a war and have security needs. We’re going to fund those security needs as necessary,” said an unnamed government official. “The savings from the three-year freeze will amount to $250bn over the next decade. The freeze, which would halt “non-security discretionary spending”, is to carried out between 2011 and 2013, the official noted.

Critics of the freeze said that the cuts, which are estimated to remove $10–$15 billion from the 2011 budget, wasn’t sufficient. “This is like announcing you’re going on a diet after winning a pie-eating contest,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House of Representatives Republican leader John Boehner. Government officials, however, said that the move would save $250 billion over the next decade.

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