In an effort to curb growing public debt, the Group of 20 nations have agreed on a timetable for cutting their deficits. At the G-20 summit in Toronto, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper proposed two targets, those of cutting government deficits in half by 2013, alongside stabilizing nations' GDP/public debt ratios by 2016. Both goals were well received by European leaders. But because of objections from other G-20 countries—including the United States, Japan, and India—the target has been framed as an expectation rather than a hard and fast deadline: The deficit is to be "tailored to national circumstances," according to a group statement. Japan is exempt from the timetable. President Barack Obama has been vocal about his wariness of withdrawing spending programs too quickly, but other nations are concerned about the European debt crisis.
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