White House: Budget deficit to top $1.8 trillion, 4 times 2008’s record
* Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer
* On Monday May 11, 2009, 11:09 am EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — With the economy performing worse than hoped, revised White House figures point to deepening budget deficits, with the government borrowing almost 50 cents for every dollar it spends this year.
The deficit for the current budget year will rise by $89 billion to above $1.8 trillion — about four times the record set just last year. The unprecedented red ink flows from the deep recession, the Wall Street bailout, the cost of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus bill, as well as a structural imbalance between what the government spends and what it takes in.
As the economy performs worse than expected, the deficit for the 2010 budget year beginning in October will worsen by $87 billion to $1.3 trillion, the White House says. The deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps.
For the current year, the government would borrow 46 cents for every dollar it takes to run the government under the administration’s plan. In one of the few positive signs, the actual 2009 deficit is likely to be $250 billion less than predicted because Congress is unlikely to provide another $250 billion in financial bailout money.
The developments come as the White House completes the official release of its $3.6 trillion budget for 2010, adding detail to some of its tax proposals and ideas for producing health care savings. The White House budget is a recommendation to Congress that represents Obama’s fiscal and policy vision for the next decade.
Annual deficits would never dip below $500 billion and would total $7.1 trillion over 2010-2019. Even those dismal figures rely on economic projections that are significantly more optimistic — just a 1.2 percent decline in gross domestic product this year and a 3.2 percent growth rate for 2010 — than those forecast by private sector economists and the Congressional Budget Office.
For the most part, Obama’s updated budget tracks the 134-page outline he submitted to lawmakers in February. His budget remains a bold but contentious document that proposes higher taxes for the wealthy, a hotly contested effort to combat global warming and the first steps toward guaranteed health care for all.
Obama’s Democratic allies controlling Congress have already made it clear that they will reject key elements of his plan. Already apparently dead is a plan to raise $267 billion over the next decade to pay for his health care initiative by curbing the ability of wealthier people to reduce their tax bills through deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.
And the congressional budget plan approved last month would not extend Obama’s signature $400 tax credit for most workers — $800 for couples — after it expires at the end of next year.
Obama’s remarkably controversial “cap-and-trade” proposal to curb heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions is also reeling from opposition from Capitol Hill Democrats from coal-producing regions and states with concentrations of heavy industry. Under cap-and-trade, the government would auction permits to emit heat-trapping gases, with the costs being passed on to consumers via higher gasoline and electric bills.
Among the new proposals is a plan — already on its way through Congress — that would increase the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s borrowing authority from $30 billion to $100 billion in order to grant a two-year reprieve from higher deposit insurance premiums while the industry is struggling.
Also new are several tax “loophole” closures and increased IRS tax compliance efforts to raise $58 billion over the next decade to help finance Obama’s health care measure. The money makes up for revenue losses stemming from lower-than-hoped estimates of his proposal to limit wealthier people’s ability to maximize their itemized deductions.
The updated budget also would repeal an unintended tax windfall taken by paper companies that use a byproduct in the paper-making process as fuel to power their mills. The tax credits were never intended for paper companies, but now they could be worth more than $3 billion a year, according to a congressional estimate.
The budget would make permanent the expanded $2,500 tax credit for college expenses that was provided for two years in the just-passed economic stimulus bill. It also would renew most of the Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, and would permanently update the alternative minimum tax so that it would hit fewer middle- to upper-income taxpayers.
As usual, there is no such thing as accountability within the Obama Administration:
This morning, Fannie Mae (FNM) announced that it had lost another $23 billion in the quarter, and would have to call down $19 billion more in taxpayer support. It also said that it would face losses as far as the eye can see.
Do you know how much we’ve committed to backstopping Fannie and its partner-in-crime Freddie Mac (FRE)? $400 BILLION! Back in February that was doubled from the original $200 billion.
But the news of the quarterly loss is getting hardly any attention. Nothing here at the NYT business section, for example. Nothing at the blogs that were going nuts when AIG was revealed to have paid out bonuses back in March.
The problem is that the Fannie and Freddie disasters don’t fit into any conventional media narrative. At AIG you had Joe Cassano, lurking in the shadows, turning AIGFP into his own personal casino, while taking home gargantuan pay.
Fannie Mae? They help nice families get into homes. Their motto is something about helping the people who help house America. Who could be against that? Plus, the Fannie and Freddy story doesn’t help explain the idea that laissez-faire deregulation is what allowed Wall Street to go crazy. Fannie and Freddy had their own freakin’ regulator, OFHEO. Two companies with one regulator to look into both of them.
And then you have all the Democrats on the inside (Rahm Emanuel, for example) on the outside (Barney Frank), who have ties to the company’s worst years.
If AIG (AIG) ever has to ask for one more dollar to pay counterparties like Goldman Sachs (cue the ominous music!), there’ll be a fresh round of media outrage. Fannie and Freddie continue to blow through cash though, and it goes without a peep, depriving the public insight into one of the more important aspects of the housing bubble and the crisis.
Obama’s Hope and Change = Doubling Your Taxes
Op-ed on CNN: Why Your Taxes May Double, by David M. Walker (President & CEO, Peter G. Peterson Foundation; Former Comptroller General of the United States and Head of the Government Accountability Office):
Even under the best of economic circumstances, tax season is a tense time for American households. The number of hours we collectively spend working on our returns is probably a lot more than government agencies claim.
The burden in financial terms is even greater: A recent independent survey found that the average American’s total federal, state and local tax bill roughly equals his or her entire earnings from January 1 up until right before tax day.
Now imagine that tax bill doubling over time. …
Regardless of what politicians tell you, any additional accumulations of debt are, absent dramatic reductions in the size and role of government, basically deferred tax increases. Remember the old saw? “You can pay me now or you can pay me later, with interest.”
To help put things in perspective, the Peterson Foundation calculated the federal government accumulated $56.4 trillion in total liabilities and unfunded promises for Medicare and Social Security as of September 30, 2008. … If $56.4 trillion in financial commitments is too big a number to digest, think of it as $483,000 per American household, or $184,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. …
Meet Owen & Payne, partners in a fictional accounting firm that specializes in helping Americans fill out the “new” Form 483000, which spells out how our elected officials are putting our nation into more and more debt and how that bill eventually will have to be paid: By doubling your taxes. The campaign is all in fun, but the intent is very serious.
Unless we begin to get our fiscal house in order, there’s simply no other way to handle our ever-mounting debt burdens except by doubling taxes over time. Otherwise, our growing commitments for Medicare and Social Security benefits will gradually squeeze out spending on other vital programs such as education, research and development, and infrastructure.
You’ve got that right! Thank goodness for Obama!
Without him, the national deficit is going down…oh wait, it’s not. http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/03/10-tax-spend-facts-for-tax-day-tea.html#links
But hey. At least Congress has NOT spent (pledged prior to today’s budget) more money in the past 70 days then the country’s GDP of the entire last year…oh wait, they have. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=armOzfkwtCA4&refer=home
At least Obama and Congress followed the procedural rules when passing a budget. Oh wait, they circumvented the process through the “reconcilliation” process. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123871911466984927.html
BUSH DEFICIT VS. OBAMA DEFICIT IN PICTURES.
According to Heritage, Obama will quadruple the deficit this year.
But when a Republican is President,running up deficits is “unpatriotic”:
Obama’s trillions dwarf Bush’s ‘dangerous’ spending
By Byron York
Chief political correspondent 2/24/09
Pelosi and Reid called Bush’s budgets “dangerous” and “unpatriotic,” but with Obama, they’ve changed their tune.
Back in 2006, when Democrats were hoping to win control of the House and Senate, party leaders worked themselves into a righteous outrage over the issue of out-of-control federal spending. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the Republican budget “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” because it increased the amount of U.S. debt held by foreign countries. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused Republicans of going on “an unprecedented and dangerous borrowing spree” and declared GOP leadership “the most fiscally irresponsible in the history of our country … no other president or Congress even comes close.”
Good thing we had those super smart democrats to tell everybody how terrible and dangerous deficits are for America and the burden it will put on our future generations.
Hey no problem baby, deficits are “beneficial” now:
White House Budget Director Orszag: “Elevated Deficits Are Beneficial”
“During an economic downturn like we’re experiencing the deficit gets elevated which is not only natural, it’s beneficial because it helps bring the economy back up to the potential output level. In other words, the key problem we face right now is the gap between how much the economy could produce and how much it is producing. The whole point of the Recovery Act is to fill in that gap and part of that means a temporary elevated deficit.”
White House Budget Director
February 26, 2009
democrats go from deficits being “unpatriotic and dangerous” to “beneficial and necessary”.
It’s all Bush’s fault.480 billion deficit combined with the 700 billion Tarp (that democrats said we had to have) is the
Reporter’s question to Orszag:
a related question, you know, when you all unveiled this budget you talked a lot about fiscal responsibility, and the end result is spiraling debt, basically. And I’m wondering if you see this task force as a means to begin to address that.
MR. ORSZAG: Well, let me answer that second question first. Again, I don’t know what spiraling debt you’re referring to, but we’re inheriting a budget situation that is a mess, and that we’re working our way out of.
“WHAT SPIRALING DEBT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!!!!”
Somehow quadrupling the debt is “beneficial” and not “spiraling debt”, but Bush’s less than 25% of this debt is “inheriting a budget that is a mess”.
This is why liberals are always having to announce how “intelligent” they are because it does not show.
This economy is 100% Obama’s and the democrats now.
Their spending and deficits dwarf anything from our previous Presidents combined.
So after hope-and-change, we really are going to be stuck with just change, aren’t we?
Taxes = Involuntary Servitude
The claim to reduce the deficit by half compares this year’s immense (mostly inherited) deficit to the projected fiscal year 2013 deficit, the last of his current term. While it is technically correct that the deficit would be less than half this year’s engorged level, a do-nothing budget would reduce it by 84%. Compared to do-nothing, Mr. Obama’s deficit is more than two and a half times larger in fiscal year 2013. Just his addition to the budget deficit, $459 billion, is bigger than any deficit in the nation’s history. And the 2013 deficit is supposed to be after several years of economic recovery, funds are being returned from the financial bailouts, and we are out of Iraq.
Finally, what of the claim not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 a year? Even ignoring his large energy taxes, Mr. Obama must reconcile his arithmetic. Every dollar of debt he runs up means that future taxes must be $1 higher in present-value terms. Mr. Obama is going to leave a discounted present-value legacy of $6.5 trillion of additional future taxes, unless he dramatically cuts spending. (With interest the future tax hikes would be much larger later on.) Call it a stealth tax increase or ticking tax time-bomb.
AND is there support for such massive spending?
CNN and the Huffington Post dutifully reported the DNC’s claim of 642,000 pledges. Network cameras and the BBC showed up to film the operation. “We had one of the big printers downstairs smoking last night,” party spokesman Brad Woodhouse said.
In fact, the canvassing of Obama’s vaunted e-mail list of 13 million people resulted in just 114,000 pledges — a response rate of less than 1 percent. Workers gathered 100,000 more from street canvassing. The DNC got to 642,000 by making three photocopies of each pledge so that each signer’s senators and representative could get one.
But President Barack Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation, and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.”
“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
The alternative option is to just follow the NYT and the love for Nazi-economics.
In the summer of 1933, just as they will do on Thursday, heads of government and their finance ministers met in London to talk about a global economic crisis. They accomplished little and went home to battle the crisis in their own ways.
More than any other country, Germany — Nazi Germany — then set out on a serious stimulus program. The government built up the military, expanded the autobahn, put up stadiums for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and built monuments to the Nazi Party across Munich and Berlin.
The economic benefits of this vast works program never flowed to most workers, because fascism doesn’t look kindly on collective bargaining. But Germany did escape the Great Depression faster than other countries. Corporate profits boomed, and unemployment sank (and not because of slave labor, which didn’t become widespread until later).
What author David Leonhardt leaves out is one little tiny uncomfortable fact: Hitler’s plans required wars of global conquest no later than 1942-43 (that he got a global war in 1939 was an accident; he thought the Allies wouldn’t fight). Because after eight or nine years of Obamanomics Nazinomics, Germany was going to be out of money. Totally out of money.
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