Candidates slammed on budget deficit

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The head of a U.S. budget watchdog group Thursday slammed the presidential candidates for sidestepping financial issues during Wednesday's debate.

"Following the presidential debate where more attention was given to the candidates' wives than to the budget deficit and to flu vaccines than to how to pay for the retirement of the baby boomers, it is hard to see where the leadership to put the country back on the path of fiscal responsibility will come from," Maya MacGuineas said in a statement. MacGuineas is the president of the New America Foundation's Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in Washington, D.C.


The government on Thursday had to cut funding for a federal employee pension fund and also suspended sales of state and local securities to keep from going over its $7.38 trillion borrowing limit. As of Tuesday the government was only $10 billion from going over the limit.

MacGuineas called for developing a bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit as soon as possible after the election.

According to the government, the 2004 budget deficit through August is just under $437 billion. The 2004 fiscal year ends Sept. 30, 2004.


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