WASHINGTON The U.S. government will not reach its goal of balancing the federal budget by 2012 because of the response to the global financial crisis, the White House said on Wednesday.
"That's going to be put off for some time, no question about it," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said in response to a question about whether the government would still meet the 2012 goal.
"But this is what you want to see when you're in an economic downturn," he added. "You want to see the government to be able to take the actions that it can take to help to support growth. And we're in not just an economic downturn but one that's accompanied by and occurring at the same time as a financial crisis."