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Bush's Deficit

Some decent reporting from AP's Alan Fram:

President Bush's budget would keep federal deficits over $200 billion annually for the next decade, and add $1.6 trillion to the shortfalls that would occur if his tax and spending proposals were not enacted, Congress' top budget analyst said Friday.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the president's budget would leave a 2005 deficit of $394 billion and a 2006 gap of $332 billion.

But the budget office noted that Bush's fiscal blueprint omitted the costs of overhauling Social Security, which some analysts have said could cost $2 trillion over the next decade.

Bush's budget also omits any new money for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for 2006. The congressional analyst said to keep 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.

By 2009, the deficit would be $246 billion, the budget office said.

That would fulfill Bush's goal of halving the $521 billion shortfall he projected for last year a projection that ended up being $109 billion too high. But it would not be close to cutting last year's actual $412 billion deficit in half.

Overall, the budget office said Bush's budget would leave deficits for the decade ending 2015 at $2.58 trillion, or $1.6 trillion over the $980 billion that would otherwise occur. The increase is mainly due to Bush's plan to make his already enacted tax cuts permanent.

Bush's budget projected figures only for the next five years.
Fram's a bit circuitous, and he leaves out the costs of Alternative Minimum Tax Reform, but he at least mentions most of the budget lies.


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