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U.S. deficit commission weighs spending cuts, but passage unsure

11-12-2010 14:15 BJT

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- While Congress is under pressure to curb Washington's massive spending binge, some experts and lawmakers said many proposed cuts are unlikely to pass Congress.

That forecast comes on the heels of a draft proposal from U.S. President Barack Obama's deficit commission that aims to slash social security and overhaul the tax code.

The draft, which came out on Wednesday, would include heightened payments for patients using Medicare; delay the retirement age until age 68; and increase gas taxes.

The plan aims to cut a total of 200 billion U.S. dollars from military and domestic programs by 2015, and represents the start of a longer-term effort to slash the deficit by 4 trillion U.S. dollars by 2020.

The deficit is high on Americans' list of concerns, although the economy and the jobless rate still trump the issue in terms of its importance to the public.

Still, the drumbeat over the issue is loud, as critics of high U.S. spending -- including many from the very vocal tea party movement -- fret that taxpayers will at some point have to pick up the tab.

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