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White House Predicts $427 Billion Deficit

John Spratt of SC, ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, thinks Bush is in denial.

And we haven’t even invaded Iran yet, Chimpy. (NYT):

White House officials predicted this afternoon that the budget deficit would hit a record $427 billion this year, including an additional $80 billion that President Bush will ask for mostly to cover the costs of the war in Iraq.

[…crack smoking alert…]

White House officials said today that they were still on track to fulfill Mr. Bush’s campaign promise of cutting the budget deficit in half by 2009.

But the administration is already well behind on its goal. The White House predicted last summer that the budget deficit would decline in 2005 and continue to sink after that. The officials said Mr. Bush would ask Congress next month for the extra $80 billion when he submits his budget next month for fiscal 2006. The new request would bring total costs of the war to more than $200 billion by the end of this year, with spending likely to continue at near current levels through at least 2006.

The new estimate calls for the budget to climb slightly, and a new report earlier today by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows that deficits will remain above $350 billion through 2009 and climb sharply after that. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that continued costs of the war in Iraq and other aspects of the war on terrorism could add $285 billion over the next five years.

…”The administration remains in denial about these fiscal results,” said Representative John W. Spratt, Democrat of South Carolina and the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

[…Scotty earning his paycheck…]

The White House defended its fiscal record, and the presidential spokesman, Scott McClellan, said at a news briefing today that the president’s deficit-reduction plan was “based on strong economic growth and spending restraint.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding