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US budget debate points to big ideological divide

Business Times - 12 Apr 2011


US budget debate points to big ideological divide

Voters will probably have to make a major choice between two competing visions in 2012

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

THE race for a budget deal came down to the wire. Federal funding was slated to run out at midnight on Friday and the government would have shut down if no budget deal had been reached by then. The government of the world's remaining superpower - engaged in at least two full-blown wars and recovering from the worst economic recession since the Great Depression - was going to run out of money. About 800,000 American federal employees would have been out of work; passports wouldn't have been issued; the annual National Cherry Blossom parade scheduled to take place in Washington, DC on Saturday would have been cancelled to the disappointment of close to 100,000 expected spectators.

But the high-stakes game of chicken between Democratic President Barack Obama - represented in the nego…