U.S. President Barack Obama says his
proposed $3.6 trillion budget is an "economic blueprint" for the country's
In his weekly address
Saturday, the president says the proposal calls for investments in energy,
education and health care that will lead to "a real and lasting
He also says the budget will
cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.
In the Republicans' weekly address, Governor Haley Barbour of
the southern U.S. state of Mississippi criticized the budget proposal, saying it
"spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much."
On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office warned that the U.S.
budget deficit will balloon to more than $1.8 trillion for the 2009 fiscal year
ending September 30. The U.S. budget experts also say the president's proposed
budget will produce $9.3 trillion in deficits over the next decade.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the new numbers do not
change the president's plans.
Meanwhile, the Obama
administration is setting tough guidelines to ensure economic stimulus dollars
are spent on worthy projects.
In remarks to state officials
gathered at the White House Friday, Mr. Obama said the initiatives that will get
priority must show they can create jobs or provide other "enduring benefits to
the American people."
Some state governors have
been reluctant to allow projects funded by the $787 billion economic recovery
act. They cite concerns that their states could be left paying for the projects
once federal funding runs out.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.