Friday, March 20, 2009

Deficits without end

George W. Bush left to President Obama a deficit for 2009 that was predicted to be around $500 billion. One could be forgiven for thinking that Obama, who ran on a platform of change, would try to reduce this. Instead he more than doubled it to over $1 trillion. Now the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that -- rather than being a one-off -- such deficits will continue for the foreseeable future:
The Congressional Budget Office figures, obtained by The Associated Press Friday, predict Obama's budget will produce $9.3 trillion worth of red ink over 2010-2019. That's $2.3 trillion worse than the White House predicted in its budget.

Worst of all, CBO says the deficit under Obama's policies would never go below 4 percent of the size of the economy, figures that economists agree are unsustainable. By the end of the decade, the deficit would exceed 5 percent of gross domestic product, a dangerously high level.

President Barack Obama's budget would generate deficits averaging almost $1 trillion a year over the next decade, according to the latest congressional estimates, significantly worse than predicted by the White House just last month.
This differs considerably from Obama's own budget projections, so either the CBO is out to lunch or Obama's budget is a fairy tale.

Update: Check out this graph from Greg Mankiw:

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