Noted deficit hawk proposes budget, recasts FY10 deficit to record $1.6 trillion
posted at 11:25 am on February 1, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
And that’s just the OMB estimate, which Hot Air readers will recall doesn’t exactly have a track record for accuracy. Just last week, Barack Obama declared that he needed to freeze spending to arrest the growth of gigantic federal deficits, which have exploded since Democrats took control of Congress, and announced a freeze on non-defense discretionary spending … sometime later. Today, after casting himself as a deficit hawk, Obama will roll out a budget with a $1.3 trillion deficit while admitting that this year’s gap will be $1,600,000,000,000:
The White House will predict a record budget deficit in the current fiscal year and more big shortfalls for the next decade in its upcoming budget proposal, a congressional source told Reuters on Sunday.
In its budget proposal to be released on Monday, the White House predicts a record $1.6 trillion budget deficit for the fiscal year that ends September 30, the Capitol Hill source said.
According to the estimate, deficits will narrow to $700 billion by fiscal 2013 before gradually rising back to $1.0 trillion by the end of the decade, the source said.
Obama’s economic team apparently applied Porkulus reasoning to this year’s deficit projection:
The estimate for the current fiscal year is significantly higher than the $1.35 trillion figure forecast by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last week.
Despite the difference, both estimates indicate that the deficit will continue to hover at a level not seen since World War Two, when measured as a percentage of the economy. Last year the government posted a $1.4 trillion deficit.
The spin is already apparent in the Washington Post:
The $3.8 trillion budget blueprint President Obama plans to submit to Congress on Monday calls for billions of dollars in new spending to combat persistently high unemployment and bolster a battered middle class. But it also would slash funding for hundreds of programs and raise taxes on banks and the wealthy to help rein in soaring budget deficits.
To put people back to work, Obama proposes to spend about $100 billion immediately on a jobs bill that would include tax cuts for small businesses, social-safety-net programs, and aid to state and local governments. To reduce deficits, he would impose new fees on some of the nation’s largest banks and permit a range of tax cuts to expire for families earning more than $250,000 a year, in addition to freezing non-security spending for three years.
Despite those efforts, the White House expects the annual gap between spending and revenue to approach a record $1.6 trillion this year as the government continues to dig out from the worst recession in more than a generation, according to budget documents released Sunday by the White House. The red ink would recede to $1.3 trillion in 2011 but remain persistently high for years to come under Obama’s policies.
Obama is “slash[ing]” his way to a record level of spending. The estimate for FY2010 is just over $3.7 trillion dollars, but when it was submitted by Obama to Congress last year, it was $3.6 trillion. With Democrats in charge of Congress, that topline will almost certainly increase rather than decrease.
For a little historical context, let’s recall what those big-spending Republicans did while they had control of the budgeting process. The GOP controlled Congress and the White House from 2001 through 2006, which means they passed the budgets for FYs 2002-2007 (they also controlled Congress during Bill Clinton’s final year, but had to negotiate with him to get one passed.) Spending in FY2002 was $2.011 trillion, and by FY2007 it grew to $2.73 trillion. Democrats then took control of Congress and increased the budget to $2.9 trillion in FY 2008. They bypassed Bush for FY2009 by delaying passage of the budget until Obama took office and hiked spending to over $3.1 trillion. This year’s budget increased spending by $600 billion alone, in one year almost the same amount profligate Republicans inflated it in six years.
And now it will go up even farther. Does anyone recall this rosy set of predictions for budget deficits from the Obama administration?
Obama’s admission represents an increase of at least $300 billion in the FY2010 deficit. That makes it almost as bad as the FY2009 deficit. Furthermore, his FY2011 budget deficit will be $400 billion more than their projections last March. FY2012 will also have a trillion-dollar deficit, which means that this projection was off $500 billion for that year as well. For just those three years, the White House missed its marks by over $1.2 trillion dollars, and managed to add over a trillion dollars in annual spending since the last all-Republican budget. That represents an increase in spending of 43% in just four years.
And after that, Obama wants credit for freezing less than 13% of the budget. Riiiiiiiiiiiight.