US Government Not for New Stimulus for Economy

By Arun Kumar

Washington, July 12 (IANS) With the US budget deficit for the fiscal year ending September already topping $1 trillion, the Obama administration sees little room for stimulus to boost the staggering economy.

There's "not a great desire" for additional government spending, President Barack Obama's top political adviser David Axelrod said Sunday.

"Even though there's some argument for additional spending in the short run to continue to generate economic activity, there's not a great appetite for it," Axelrod told ABC.

Instead the government wants to boost the economy by boosting exports and offering small-business tax credits, he said. "Everybody agrees we have to do more," Axelrod said.

He said the administration has boosted the economy with its first stimulus package, which it pushed through Congress shortly after taking office in 2009, and Obama has pledged to double US exports in five years, but, "We have to accelerate that."

Axelrod said the administration still can push for tax relief and expanded lending for small businesses, which he called "an engine of economic growth," and said Congress "ought to extend unemployment insurance" for the long-term jobless.

"We're hoping we can persuade enough people on the other side of the aisle to put politics aside and join us on that," he said.

The Republican minority in the Senate has so far blocked an extension of weekly jobless payments to an estimated 2.1 million people, demanding that the money should be offset by other cuts.

They are also arguing that the Bush administration's entire slate of tax cuts be kept in place beyond the end of the year, when they are set to expire.

Axelrod told CNN that voters in going to the polls in November will have a choice "between two economic theories: the one that got us into this disaster in the first place, and the one that is getting us out."

"There is no doubt that the Republican strategy has basically been to say 'no' to everything and to try and turn the clock back in order to win an election and restore the policies that got us into this mess in the first place," he said. "And that's something we can't abide and that's something we can't accept."


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