Hey, Big Spender! (A Continuing Series)

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on August 22, 2009

Nine trillion dollars:

The Obama administration will raise its 10-year budget deficit projection to approximately $9 trillion from $7.108 trillion in a report next week, a senior administration official told Reuters on Friday.

The higher deficit figure, based on updated economic data, brings the White House budget office into line with outside estimates and gives further fuel to President Barack Obama’s opponents, who say his spending plans are too expensive in light of budget shortfalls.

The White House took heat for sticking with its $7.108 trillion forecast earlier this year after the Congressional Budget Office forecast that deficits between 2010 and 2019 would total $9.1 trillion.

Glad to see that the White House has finally decided to acknowledge reality. But should it really have taken this long to do so?

I trust that everyone now understands that there is no way this Administration is going to meet its goal of halving the deficit in four years (a fact that should have been clear from the moment Barack Obama made this promise). I am not sure whether the new deficit projections take into account the amount of spending that would have to take place to implement a health care plan the White House feels comfortable with. If not, then the deficit will likely be significantly larger; one of the signal failures of this Administration has been its utter inability and unwillingness to be upfront and honest about the costs associated with the kind of health care reform plans it has in mind.

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