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President Barack Obama says he will veto any effort to get rid of automatic spending cuts that would take effect in 2013 if Congress can’t find other ways of trimming government deficits. Those spending cuts include significant reductions to the Pentagon that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said would be devastating to the military. Obama issued his threat Monday an hour after leaders of Congress’ deficit-reduction supercommittee announced that they had failed to reach agreement on cutting the debt. The inability of the committee to meet its deadline means the government is facing about .2 trillion in automatic cuts in January 2013. Obama said the threat of those reductions should remain in place to maintain pressure on Congress find a compromise. (Monday, November 21, 2011)
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Three men who raided a Perth flat armed with a sawn-off shot gun have been jailed for a total of 27 years. Nazim Ali, from Perth, Cameron Mathieson and Paul Feeney, both from Glasgow, had been found guilty of using a firearm to rob a 38-year-old woman and a 13-year-old girl in November last year. Four adults and two children had to be rescued from a fire at a block of flats in Perth early this morning. The residents of a six-storey block on Strathtay Road had a lucky escape after the blaze broke out in a bin recess at 5 o’clock. It’s emerged a St Andrews man killed in a mining disaster in New Zealand was on the phone to his control room when the blast happened. More than 400 smokers in Perth are receiving help and money to stub out the habit. Quit4u was launched in the city last November after proving successful in Dundee. This is an international version of the news which may have been edited for rights reasons.
Clif Smart and Frank Einhellig presented the State of the University address at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011.
In a time of downturned economies all around the world, the US government has finally reached a budget agreement for their fiscal year that ends September 30th. Until this week, the US government had been operating without a budget and had only managed to keep open by passing numerous contingencies since last October. On April 8th, just minutes before a potential US government shutdown, an agreement was reached between parties and on April 14th the bill was finally passed in both the Congress and the Senate. The final bill now will hit President Obamas desk to be signed into law.
Final Budget Figures
The budget, despite conservatives disappointment, cuts just $ 38 billion in spending for the remainder of the fiscal year, still leaving the US very near their deficit cap which they are expected to break by mid May under current spending levels. The overall budget for the US fiscal year comes in at 1.049 trillion, which is 78.5 billion less than the budget first proposed by Obama last year.
While the US government and citizens alike are happy to finally have a budget, at the same time there is not huge optimism as these small cuts are just the beginning and larger ones will need to follow. In the midst of what many now are saying is a global financial crisis, the US has numerous cuts to make in the very near future. Looking at the difficulties they had just to pass this years budget, the road ahead will probably be even more challenging.
One current issue that will have to be decided in the very near future for the US is whether or not they will raise their deficit limit. Conservative republicans have come forward and said that they will not vote for such a measure unless there is some type of agreement and a plan for broad spending cuts. The debt ceiling currently allowed by the US government is 14.3 trillion which could be broken as early as May.
What Happens Now?
Looking ahead to the next fiscal year, US President Obama has a plan to start reducing the countrys debt. His proposed initiatives would cut the debt by four trillion over the next twelve years. The US congress will be faced with some very tough decisions in order to make sure that the current debt levels do not get passed on to future generations. Being able to better balance the governments checkbook will help to bring the US out of the current recession and at he same time give the US a competitive edge globally.
According to the home page for the White House:
The Presidents 2012 Budget is a responsible approach that puts the nation on a path to live within our means so we can invest in our future by cutting wasteful spending and making tough choices on some things we cannot afford, while keeping the investments we need to grow the economy and create jobs. It targets scarce federal resources to the areas critical to winning the future: education, innovation, clean energy, and infrastructure. And it proposes to reform how Washington does business, putting more federal funding up for competition, cutting waste, and reorganizing government so that it better serves the American people.
Australians and others around the world will be watching in the coming months to see what steps the US takes next as they continue to fight for an economic recovery while at the same time slashing government spending. Will the US raise their debt ceiling? Will they make deep enough cuts in the 2012 budget to get them on the path to stable finances? We will just have to wait and see.
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