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Debt ceiling deal first step of restoring fiscal sustainability: Geithner

08-04-2011 09:37 BJT

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Wednesday that the just-signed bipartisan debt ceiling deal is the "beginning of restoring fiscal sustainability" in the United States.

"It is a substantial down payment, but not the end of the debate," Geithner noted in an article carried on Wednesday's The Washington Post.

He contended that U.S. government's ability to make smart and long-term budget choices has long been smashed and the bipartisan deal provided the nation with a chance to fix it.

U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday signed a bipartisan bill on raising the nation's debt limit into law, hours before the federal government runs out of borrowing capacity, ending a month-long perilous stalemate.

The two-stage deal aimed at slashing deficit for more than 2 trillion U.S. dollars over the next decade, setting up a powerful congressional bipartisan committee to find new ways on deficit cutting, and raising the U.S. borrowing limit through 2013.

Geithner held that the near-term impact of spending cuts on the economy will be insignificant, far less than the damage that would have been caused by a prolonged debt ceiling talk impasse.

"By locking in long-term savings, Congress will have more room in the fall to pass additional short-term measures to strengthen the economy, such as extending the payroll tax cut," according to the article.

"It is not enough for Congress to have prevented a disaster it brought on itself," said Geithner, adding that lawmakers should act to strengthen the economy and get more Americans back to work as the U.S. economic growth is slowing.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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