Obama says fiscal situation "untenable"

President Obama hosts the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) meeting in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 4, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Monday said the United States was facing an “untenable fiscal situation” and would have to get serious about tackling its federal deficit.

The U.S. budget deficit is forecast at a record $1.47 trillion in the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2010.

Obama said that emergency government spending measures he took to support growth and hiring when he took office last year had temporarily added to the funding gap, but the deficit had to be tackled going forward.

“I realize that we are facing an untenable fiscal situation,” he told a meeting of his economic recovery advisory board to discuss strengthening the partnership between community colleges and the private sector. “What I won’t do is cut back on investments like education.”

Obama’s Democrats, who face punishment in upcoming November 2 congressional midterm elections from voters worried about the country’s high deficit, argue their Republican Party rivals would cut spending on education.

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Alister Bull; Editing by Eric Beech