Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Numbers: Federal Budget Sobers Drunken Sailors In Ports Nationwide

Both the White House Office of Management and Budget and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted today that the federal budget deficit for this upcoming fiscal year would swell to nearly $1.6 trillion, a record, and far above the then-record 2008 budget deficit of $455 billion. The White House further predicted today that the federal government would incur a cumulative $9 trillion in annual budget deficits from 2010 through 2019, according to the Associated Press.

To put those numbers in context, the entire US federal budget for the fiscal year about to end on September 30, 2009, was $3.1 trillion, as compared with receipts (i.e income taxes, Social Security contributions and other) of $2.7 trillion. So for the fiscal year set to start on October 1, the federal government is already planning to spend over 50% more than it will take in.

Keep in mind that the President has said repeatedly that he can raise $600 billion over ten years through increased income taxes on the highest-earning Americans (the top 4%) as a way to pay in part for proposed health care reforms. But that $600 billion is well less than 10% of the $9 trillion cumulative budget deficit that the White House now foresees over that time period, even without health care reform. I wonder where that remaining $8.4 trillion is going to come from.......

These are the nation's biggest budget deficits since World War II. I suppose that makes President Obama the drunken sailor in the photo above, and me (or any of us), the nurse. My guess is that right before that famous photo was taken the sailor boasted loudly, "Don't worry doll, I've got this rich friend who's going to buy us all a swell dinner!"

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