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Deficit Strategy Depends on Business Cycle

Some economists doubt President Obama will be able to meet his goal of cutting the nation's deficit in half by the end of his first term...

Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, said Monday that the future of the economy depends on the business cycle.

"There's a lot of political ideological debates that are longer term debates that have nothing to do with how we're going to get out of this recession. ... It really depends on where the business cycle goes.

"If this is a short recession with a strong recovery, you'll make that target, the president's target, you might even beat it. However, if this recession drags out or if you have a weak recovery, you could forget about it. It's not going to happen," Achuthan said.

Any predictions of recovery toward year end, he said, is "just that -- it's an assumption. It's not an objective read of where things are headed."

Obama on Monday afternoon will hold a fiscal responsibility summit. The president is expected to focus on the long-term fiscal problems facing this country.

"I think the real issue is that we face a pair of trillion-dollar deficits -- the first is the trillion-dollar deficit between how much the economy could produce each year and how much it is producing. That was what the stimulus was aimed at...