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Budget Deficit
Budget Deficit
Now that the government has committed over $1 trillion to stabilize the financial system and economic growth is expected to slow, the country's growing deficits aren't something the next president can ignore. Obama has spoken of the need to restore fiscal responsibility while in the same breath promising more tax cuts and proposing spending cuts that are hard to achieve.

· Enforce budget rules that would require that new spending be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue.

· Reduce spending on earmarks to no greater than 2001 levels and require more transparency on such spending.

· Help pay for new proposals by drawing down troops in Iraq war, raising taxes on high-income filers and cutting certain corporate loopholes.

"Once we get through this economic crisis ... we're not going to be able to go back to our profligate ways. We're going to have to embrace a culture and an ethic of responsibility, all of us, corporations, the federal government, and individuals out there who may be living beyond their means." -- Obama*

NEXT: Jobs and Wages
Last updated November 06 2008: 11:36 AM ET
*Oct. 15, 2008, final debate with McCain at Hofstra University, Long Island, N.Y.
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