White House Orders Agencies to Make Budget Cuts

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The White House wants federal agencies to propose budget cuts in an effort to save money.

Budget chief Jacob Lew has asked agency heads to trim next year's spending by at least 5 percent. He's also charged them to find ways to cut at least 10 percent of total spending.

"By providing budgets pegged to these two scenarios, you will provide the president with the information to make the tough choices necessary to meet the hard spending targets in place and the needs of the nation," Lew wrote to agency heads.

For more economic insight, CBN News spoke with former George W. Bush advisor Kereakos Zuras.  He's also authour of 'How to Succeed When Everyone is Failing.'  Click play for Zuras' comments.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday that Lew's directive was a good way to start finding spending cuts that are required under the recent debt-ceiling agreement between the two sides.

However, he emphasize entitlement programs need to be cut if the White House is serious about cutting debt.

"The White House must get serious about real structural reform of our entitlement programs if we're going to get our debt under control to help our economy grow and create jobs," Steel said, referring to huge and fast-growing benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare that help drive annual deficits skyward.

So far, Democrats have resisted paring benefits from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while Republicans have refused to consider tax increases.

The new budget year begins Oct. 1, 2012. The budget will be released early next year.

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