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Obama gov't should stop spending binge: U.S. economist

04-23-2011 08:45 BJT

WASHINGTON, April 22 (Xinhua) -- As Americans are clamoring for a fact-based debate about the government budget,the numbers they are hearing from Washington are terribly confusing, a renowned U.S. economist criticized on Friday.

"Speaking at a Facebook town hall meeting on Wednesday, President Barack Obama sometimes talked about saving 4 trillion U. S. dollars, at other times 2 trillion dollars, and he varied whether it was over 10 years or 12 years, never mentioning any one year," John Taylor, a professor at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, observed in an article carried on Friday's Wall Street Journal.

The White House on April 13 announced its long-term public debt reduction plan, setting a goal to cut 4 trillion dollars over the next 12 years, following a massive 6.2-trillion-dollar proposal from Republicans. Obama this week hit the road to different cities to sell his budget plan in campaign-style town hall meetings.

There was a huge bulge in government spending in the past few years, as the ratio of government spending to the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) jumped from 19.6 percent in 2007 to an average of 24.4 percent during the three years since 2009, he contended in the article entitled "Obama's Permanent Spending Binge".

The House budget plan proposed by Republicans earlier this month simply removed that spending binge in a bid to make government spending gradually decrease as a share of GDP back to a level seen only three years ago, noted Taylor.

The economist, who has proposed the widely-known Taylor Rule, argued that Obama's February budget plan for the 2012 fiscal year would make the current government spending spree permanent, as government spending would still be more than 24 percent of GDP by 2021.

If government agencies and programs could function with less than 20 percent of GDP in 2007, why is it so hard for them to be in operation with that percentage in 2021, when GDP will be substantially higher and with many opportunities for reforms and increased efficiencies, according to the article.



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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