Democrats seek to cut U.S. budget deficits in half: Yarmuth

 Democrats seek to cut U.S. budget deficits in half: Yarmuth

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee on Tuesday said he and other senior Democrats aim to write a fiscal blueprint this year that would cut annual budget deficits by 50 percent in the next 10 years, possibly including tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy.

Representative John Yarmuth, in an interview with Reuters, said part of the effort could focus on raising the U.S. corporate tax rate to 26 percent or 27 percent, up from the 21 percent enacted through a broad Republican tax cut law in 2017.

Even with added tax revenues, Yarmuth conceded the difficult path toward deficit-reduction.

Annual federal budget deficits are hurtling toward $1 trillion and Yarmuth said it is "not going to be easy to cut them by half a trillion dollars" by around 2029, especially given looming economic cross-currents.

"We have so many threats to the economy going on with trade wars and a slowdown in other (nations') economies," said Yarmuth, who took control of the Budget Committee early this month with the new Democratic majority in that chamber.

"The odds of there being a significant slowdown if not a recession are pretty substantial," Yarmuth said, which likely would cut into Washington's revenue collections. That, in turn, could pump up deficits further in the short-term.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Susan Cornwell, Howard Schneider, Jason Lange, Yasmeen Abutaleb and Amanda Becker; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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Updated Date: Jan 30, 2019 00:08:01 IST