Friday, January 13, 2006

Something to look forward to

According to the NY Times:

"The White House acknowledged on Thursday that the budget deficit would climb back above $400 billion this year, erasing the brief improvement last year and complicating President Bush's vow to cut the deficit in half by 2009."

Now for the good news. The Bush White House has a notorious practice of high-balling early estimates of the deficit for the next year, so that when it comes out lower at the end of the year they can crow that things are improving & that their economic "policy" is working. Perhaps they are planning to do this again.

The article also notes:

"[G]overnment spending has climbed sharply, from 18.5 percent in 2001 to nearly 20 percent for each of the past three years. By contrast, tax revenues plunged to as little as 16.3 percent of the nation's economy from 19.8 percent in 2001."

And this even without regard to the $18.2 trillion (over the infinite horizon) Medicare prescription drug benefit that starts this year and can be expected to grow rapidly.

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