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Obama promises to get US budget in shape

By Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
November 26, 2008 18:47 IST
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US President-elect Barack Obama today promised to do whatever possible to revive stalled economic growth in the short run and insisted that there is no question of being in any danger of an environment of "over-reach".

In his second press conference in as many days, Obama introduced his top two persons in the Office of Management and Budget, and said that he has posted a "decisive" victory on November 4 by Americans who have called for change.

Nominating Peter Orszag as head of the Office of Management and Budget, Obama said the 39-year-old graduate of Princeton and the London School of Economics would ensure no "mountain of debt is left for future generations".

Rob Nabros was appointed as Orszag's deputy.

"We're still going to have to make some tough choices. There are just going to be some programmes that simply don't work, and we've got to eliminate them. And so I don't think that there's any way of denying the fact that my first priority and my first job is to get us on the path of economic recovery, to create 2.5 million jobs," he said when asked if the federal deficit will remain permanently in the red.

"But as soon as the recovery is well under way, then we've got to set up a long-term plan to reduce the structural deficit and make sure that we're not leaving a mountain of debt for the next generation," Obama said.

"Does a large Democratic majority in Congress present an opportunity to pass your agenda or is there a danger in this environment of overreach?" he was asked.

"I don't think that there's any question that we have a mandate to move the country in a new direction and not continue the same, old practices that have gotten us into the fix that we're in. But I won 53 per cent of the vote. That means 46 per cent or 47 per cent of the country voted for John McCain," Obama said.

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Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
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