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March 06, 2005

Why Oh Why Are We Ruled by These Fools? (Budget Department)

Fiscal irresponsibility watch, from Alan Fram of AP:

Bush's Budget Would Keep Annual Deficits Over $200 Billion for Next Decade, Analyst Says: WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush's budget would keep federal deficits over $200 billion annually over the next decade, Congress' top budget analyst said Friday in a report raising doubts about White House efforts to contain the shortfalls. The analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Bush's plans for spending and taxes would yield deficits through the decade ending in 2015 totaling $2.58 trillion... $1.6 trillion worse than they would be if none of the president's fiscal plans become law... cumulative deficits over the next decade will be $125 billion worse than it estimated only last January. That is largely because it has added $70 billion to its projected 10-year costs of Medicare spending....

Last Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned Congress that federal deficits had become 'unsustainable' and warned lawmakers to act quickly to staunch the red ink....

Friday's numbers also raised new doubts about Bush's goal of halving federal deficits in five years by projecting a 2009 deficit of $246 billion... not be close to cutting last year's actual $412 billion deficit in half.... Over the next decade, deficits would get no lower than $229 billion in 2010, the congressional office estimated. It also projected that Bush's fiscal plans would yield deficits of $394 billion next year and $332 billion in 2006....

The congressional analyst noted that Bush's budget omitted the costs of overhauling Social Security, which some analysts expect to exceed $1 trillion for the first decade. Bush's budget also omits any new funds for U.S. military and reconstruction operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for 2006. The congressional analyst said keeping next year's military operations at this year's levels would probably add about $40 billion to the 2006 shortfall, pushing it to perhaps $375 billion.

Posted by DeLong at March 6, 2005 01:49 PM