The federal budget deficit will likely be at least $337 billion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
That’s up from $319 billion in 2005, following a record $412 billion in 2004.
And the $337 billion figure is likely understating what the real deficit will be this year. The White House Budget Office is projecting the number will top $400 billion, with the difference coming from costs related to Hurricane Katrina.
But the number could go even higher than that, if other emergency spending measures have to be undertaken. In 2005, the Bush Administration asked for $10.5 billion of emergency spending for Hurricane Katrina and $82 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
So can the Bush Administration claim it is conquering the budget deficit? Amazingly, it was just last month that the White House released a “fact sheet” listing the Bush Administration’s “accomplishments,” including “We Remain On Track To Cut The Budget Deficit In Half By 2009.”
That goal seems far-fetched — the CBO estimate for 2006-2010 has Bush missing. But of course, by 2009 Bush will have left office.
How out of control is the deficit? As JABBS wrote earlier this month, the White House will soon ask Congress to raise the government’s debt ceiling, now capped at $8.18 trillion. It will be the fourth time in five years that the administration will seek to increase the debt limit.
Remember, Republicans are the “fiscally conservative” party.
This item first appeared at JABBS