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Tribune Editorial: All in Congress need to work on deficit

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated Wednesday that the federal deficit would hit a record $1.5 trillion this fiscal year.

The federal government will have to borrow 40 cents for every dollar it will spend in this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

These numbers are a bit shocking and they should be. The federal budget has long been on an unsustainable path and it is time our country begins corrective action.

The fault here lies on both the Democratic and Republican sides of Congress. No one -- Democrat or Republican -- gets a pass here.

The projected federal deficit in 2009, two weeks before President Obama took office, was $1.2 trillion. This occurred through the George W. Bush administration, as the country initiated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and ramped up the U.S. efforts against terrorism following the attacks of Sept. 11.

Now after two years of President Barack Obama in office, the projected federal deficit is expected to reach the $1.5 trillion mark. The Obama administration has increased government spending as it addressed the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s and sought to stabilize the nation's financial system.

The Bush administration's effort against terrorism and the Obama administration's effort to address the recession and severe financial system issues were important priorities.

Now the time has come for both Democrats and Republicans to get serious about addressing the federal deficit. Both agree that the U.S. must takes steps to address the growing deficit. Yet, neither side will put serious budget-cutting proposals on the table.

Republican leadership has proposed cuts in education, housing and the FBI, according to The Associated Press. However, those budgets only make up only 12 percent of the $3.7 trillion budget.

It is time that both Republican and Democrats in Congress get serious about addressing the deficit.

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