by John Hawkins | July 16, 2003 11:59 pm
White House Says Deficit Will Reach $455 Billion This Year, But Doesn’t Want To Control Spending: Here are a few budget numbers….
“The Federal budget deficit will be $455 billion, roughly 50 percent larger than the White House estimated in February, the President’s Office of Management and Budget said this afternoon.
…The sluggish economy, the cost of on-going operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the administration’s tax cuts are the primary sources for the rising revenue shortfall.
…The new deficit numbers from the Office of Management and Budget contain “about $80 billion due to the tax cuts, and another $45 billion to $50 billion in war-related costs,” said David Wyss, chief economist at the Standard & Poor’s Corporation.
…According to the statistics released this afternoon, the economy is projected to grow at a 3.6 percent rate for the twelve months beginning in October. Still, the deficit is forecast to widen to $475 billion. In February, the White House estimated the 2004 budget shortfall at $307 billion.
…Many economists and most Republicans argue that the more important measure is the deficit as a percentage of the overall economy. At about 4.2 percent of gross domestic product, the deficit remains less than it was in 1983, when it hit a post World War II peak of 6.0 percent.
…Scott McClellan, a White House spokesman, told the Reuters news agency earlier today that “the deficit certainly remains a concern, but it is one that is manageable and it is one we are addressing . . . over the next few years we will cut this deficit in half.”
….In its report, titled “Mid-Session Review,” analysts at the budget office note “these deficits are manageable if we continue pro-growth economic policies and exercise serious spending restraint.”
Based on past performance, curbing spending does not seem likely.”
You know, I don’t blame Bush for running a deficit. Given that the economy was in a recession when he came into office, 9/11, & the costs associated with building the military back-up and running the war on terrorism, running a deficit was unavoidable. Moreover, cutting taxes was the right thing to do. If that 3.6 percent growth rate they’re predicting pans out, it’ll be because Bush primed the pump by letting people keep more of their own money.
However, Bush & our Congress have totally abandoned all financial restraint. We should making significant cuts in our spending on the domestic side, not creating massive new entitlement programs like the prescription drug benefit. The President & the rest of the GOP should be leading the fight against wasteful government spending, not inviting more people to suckle at the government’s teat. Maybe it’s good politics, but it’s bad government, bad economic policy, and America is going to pay a big price down the road for the government’s irresponsibility today.
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