El presidente de Estados Unidos pidió que el Congreso apruebe la medida para el próximo año fiscal. La suma, que representa un 0,5% del presupuesto, incluye eliminar o recortar 121 programas federales considerados demasiado costosos, especialmente en el área de Defensa.

El presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, pidió hoy al Congreso aprobar recortes por 17.000 millones de dólares para el próximo año fiscal, una suma que constituye apenas un 0,5% del total del presupuesto federal.

Al anunciar su plan final de presupuesto para el año fiscal 2010, Obama propuso eliminar o recortar 121 programas federales considerados excesivamente costosos u obsoletos, en especial en el área de Defensa.

«Nada de esto será fácil», dijo Obama en la Casa Blanca, en medio del persistente y profundo colapso de la economía de Estados Unidos desde el estallido de su peor crisis financiera en 80 años, en septiembre del año pasado.

El mandatario dijo que los estadounidenses debieron ajustarse el cinturón en estos momentos de dificultad y que quieren saber si Washington «está preparado para actuar con el mismo sentido de responsabilidad».

Los republicanos criticaron los recortes propuestos por considerarlos una parte insignificante del gigantesco déficit fiscal de 3,4 billones de dólares previsto para el año 2010.

«Los ahorros resultantes son relativamente pequeños comparados con las penurias fiscales del gobierno», dijo el líder de la bancada republicana en la Cámara de Representantes, John Boehner, citado por la cadena CNN. El presidente respondió a estas críticas en su anuncio.

«Algunos de los recortes que propusimos hoy son más dolorosos que otros. Algunos son mayores que otros. De hecho algunos pocos programas que eliminamos producirán menos de un millón de dólares en ahorros. Fuera de Washington, eso es aún mucha plata», dijo.

Los recortes del gasto público se incluyeron en un grueso suplemento al detalle global del presupuesto para el año fiscal 2010 que Obama presentó ya en febrero pasado.

«Estos ahorros, grandes y pequeños, suman», dijo Obama en la Casa Blanca.

El mandatario dijo que pedirá al director de presupuesto de la Casa Blanca, Peter Orszag, implementar estos recortes, aunque ya hubo indicios de que los planes fiscales de Obama podrían hallar resistencia en el Congreso, pese a que los demócratas son mayoría.

«Por cada dólar que nosotros buscamos ahorrar, habrá otros que tiene interés en verlos que se gasten. Así es como programas innecesarios sobreviven año tras año», dijo el presidente.

La nueva propuesta ampliada y detallada mantiene un fondo de reserva de 250.000 millones de dólares para nuevos rescates de bancos en caso de ser necesarios, dijo el secretario de Prensa de la Casa Blanca para Asuntos Presupuestarios.

El fondo «está allí en caso de que se necesite el dinero», dijo el secretario, Ken Baer.

En caso de que se echara mano a esta plata, la administración Obama podría financiar hasta 750.000 millones de dólares más para ayudar a instituciones bancarias en problemas, por encima de los 700.000 millones aprobados por el Congreso el año pasado.


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