WASHINGTON (AP) - In the nation's first-ever $3 trillion budget, President Bush seeks to seal his legacy of promoting a strong defense to fight terrorism and tax cuts to spur the economy...Even with an admitted $400b deficit, the number is far too low. It admittedly does not contain the money that will be spent in Iraq*. It probably does not contain all the rebates and refunds and temporary tax cuts that will be used to "get the economy moving." It certainly contains rosy assumptions about tax collections and economic growth, as in all probability we are in a recession, a fact that will not be publicly admitted until it the Bush's replacement is inaugurated. Then it will be trumpeted as an excuse to spend even more.
The 2009 spending plan sent to Congress on Monday will project huge budget deficits, around $400 billion for this year and next and more than double the 2007 deficit of $163 billion.
In fact, if one was to add up all the realities that the budget ignores, he may not be far out of line in predicting that not only will we this year have the first $3 trillion dollar budget, we may also see the first $1 trillion dollar actual** cash deficit.
I did find this article from 4 short years ago rather amusing:
(AP) President Bush's goal of cutting in half a projected $500 billion federal deficit within five years is being dismissed as too timid by conservatives, unachievable by analysts and laughable by Democrats.4 years ago, the budget was $700 billion smaller (conversely, it has grown 30% in 3 years) while the official deficit has been "halved" from $500 billion to $400 billion. The conservatives, the analysts, and the Democrats were all correct. Of course, that doesn't means either the Democrats or the conservatives intend to do anything about it***.
Mr. Bush will include the objective in the $2.3 trillion budget for 2005 he sends Congress in February...
Rather they just intend to laugh at the Americans who are about to elect a new president who, if it were imaginable, promises to find more even things to spend money on than the current one.
* Those are covered in "emergency appropriations," which means, "let's come back later and allocate money for the things we knew we would do but didn't want to count in the first round."
** One cannot honestly call it a "budget deficit," because these extras are not part of the budget. But they have an impact on government finances nonetheless. The "real" debt in the last fiscal year (ending Aug 2007) went from $8.5t to $9.0t, or a whopping $500 billion - slightly more than the announced deficit of $163 billion.
Since September 1 we have added another $238 billion, for an annual rate of ~$600b. And I haven't even got my rebate check yet.
*** Nor the analysts, but I don't blame them.