We’d be remiss if we didn’t wish everyone a Happy New Fiscal Year.
Officials are closing the books of fiscal year 2012, which ended at midnight, but one aspect of it will linger: Another trillion dollar deficit.
This past year’s deficit of $1.3 trillion — the fourth straight year that figure has topped $1 trillion — is sure to be an issue in the Wednesday debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The turning of the fiscal year “serves as a fresh reminder of the failure of President Obama’s policies to rein in our nation’s out-of-control spending and exploding debt,” said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. “In this past fiscal year, President Obama officially broke his promise to cut the deficit in half, his budget was met with a unanimous, bipartisan rejection, and the national debt eclipsed $16 trillion.”
Obama says he also wants to cut the deficit, but congressional Republicans have blocked his plans for a balanced approach that would include more government revenues through higher taxes on the rich as well as budget cuts.
“I want to reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle-class and working-class families,” Obama said Sunday night in Las Vegas.
The president also said, “I want to reform our tax code so it’s simple and it’s fair, but I also want to ask the wealthiest households in America to pay slightly higher taxes on incomes over $250,000.”
The debate is Wednesday night in Denver.
From the Associated Press:
“Shortly after his inauguration in January 2009, Obama pledged to cut the budget deficit, then $1.3 trillion, in half by the end of his first term.
“When fiscal 2012 ended at midnight Sunday, the outgoing 12-month yearly deficit was again $1.3 trillion — the fourth consecutive year it has exceeded $1 trillion. …
“The White House predicts the deficit will fall below $1 trillion in this new budget year — but not by much — to $901 billion.
“Obama has long since stopped talking up his old goal of reducing deficits in half. Now, he generally speaks of cutting them by a cumulative $4 trillion or so over the next 10 years.”