"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

CBO: Deficit To Hit $1.5 Trillion This Year

January 27th, 2011 by Mark Twain · No Comments

The New York Times reports today, “The government’s budget deficit will soar to nearly $1.5 trillion this year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday, an anticipated but politically galvanizing calculation that further intensified the partisan battle over the nation’s fiscal future. . . . The deficit was $1.4 trillion in 2009 and $1.3 trillion in 2010.” The Wall Street Journal adds, “At that size, the deficit—up from $1.29 trillion in 2010—would be roughly $60 billion more than the White House projected last summer, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. . . . As a percentage of the nation’s economic output, the 9.8% deficit would be the second-largest since World War II, behind only the 10% level in 2009.”

The Washington Post notes, “Lawmakers scrambled Wednesday to respond to the darkening budget picture, with Republicans pressing their call for sharp and immediate cuts in domestic spending. Twenty-one Senate Republicans, meanwhile, unveiled a plan to amend the U.S. Constitution to require balanced budgets, a top priority of the tea party movement. Democrats resisted both initiatives, arguing that amending the Constitution, a lengthy process that requires a vote in all 50 state legislatures, would do little to address the current problem.”

The Times writes, “The shift into full battle mode on Capitol Hill came a day after President Obama, aiming to modulate the Republican demands for cuts, called in his State of the Union speech for a partial five-year freeze in domestic spending by the federal government — a more gradual imposition of fiscal discipline, while still increasing some spending in education, research and other areas. Republicans quickly rejected that idea as insufficient. ‘Last night, the president spoke about our dangerous debt and his commitment to bringing it down,’ Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, said at a news conference. ‘But actions speak louder than words. He, unfortunately, recommitted to spending more money we don’t have.’”

Indeed, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie yesterday, “I did find [President Obama’s] suggestion on spending reductions completely inadequate.” He suggested, “We need to get back the 2008 level; that’s a significant whack out of our annual discretionary spending. . . . “That is a significant reduction.”

For a start, Leader McConnell introduced a bill yesterday to eliminate taxpayer funding of the Presidential Election Campaign fund, which would save $617 million over the next decade. Certainly, with the country staring at a $1.5 trillion deficit, it’s only a small first step, but it’s precisely the kind of thing the federal government doesn’t need to be spending money on. McConnell explained, “The American people have spoken and the verdict is clear. They’d rather reduce the deficit than pay for attack ads and robo-calls.  In a time of exploding deficits and record debt the last thing the American people want right now is to provide what amounts to welfare for politicians.”

Leader McConnell also addressed the overall debt problem before President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, saying, “[I]f we’re going to make any real progress in the areas of spending, debt, and reining in government, the President will have to acknowledge that the policies of the past two years are not only largely to blame for the situation we find ourselves in, but that unless we do something to reverse their ill-effects, the road to recovery and prosperity will be a bumpy one.”

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: 50% Now Oppose President’s New Spending Proposals

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