Good news and bad news. The good news is, the GOP’s chances of a comeback are looking brighter than ever. The bad news is, I’m not sure what’ll be left for them to come back to.
To put these numbers in context, bear in mind that last year’s deficit of $459 billion was the largest on record.
In a new report that provides the first independent analysis of President Obama’s budget request, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that the administration’s agenda would generate deficits averaging nearly $1 trillion a year over the next decade — $2.3 trillion more than the president predicted when he unveiled his spending plan just one month ago.
And while Obama would come close to meeting his goal of cutting the deficit in half by the end of his first term, the CBO predicts that the nation’s annual operating deficit would never drop below 4 percent of the overall economy over the next decade, a level administration officials have said is unsustainable because the national debt would grow too rapidly.
By the CBO’s estimate, for example, the nation’s debt would grow to 82 percent of the overall economy by 2019 under Obama’s policies, compared with a pre-recession average of 40 percent…
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (N-N.D.) has said the gloomier CBO forecast would require “adjustments” to Obama’s budget, though he declined to specify what changes would be necessary.
Adjustments in numbers or adjustments to the whole grand Great Society II scheme? Only the former, promises Obama budget guru Peter Orszag, vowing not to sacrifice The One’s health care/energy/climate change/education agenda. To which I say, we’ll see about that. Robert Reich lays it out plainly: “The Wall Street bailout is starting to look like the most expensive tax-supported fiasco in history… The president cannot afford to lose the public’s confidence that his administration is a careful steward of the public’s money. The public was willing to go along with a large stimulus package. But it won’t go along with a second stimulus, and certainly not another TARP. And until the public feels confident that its money isn’t being thrown down a rat hole, it may balk at other ambitious undertakings such as healthcare or education or the environment.” Indeed, which means all that stands between Obama and a congressional revolt is the bank-healin’ mojo of … Tim Geithner. Good luck, Barry. Exit question: Why do I have a sudden irresistible urge to start watching Glenn Beck?
Update: The GOP goes appropriately nuclear.