Sunday, July 28, 2008
The U.S. budget deficit will widen to a record of about US$490-billion next year, an administration official said, leaving a deep budget hole for the next president.
The projected deficit for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 is far higher than the US$407-billion forecast by President George W. Bush in February. The official also confirmed a report in USA Today that the deficit this year will be less than the US$410-billion estimated in February.
The bigger shortfall for fiscal 2009 may reflect dwindling tax receipts because of the U.S. economic slowdown, the cost of payments distributed under the US$168-billion economic stimulus package and the continuing cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(Article continues below)
“We’ve already seen a pretty sharp cooling in tax receipts and it’s just going to continue into next fiscal year,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at RBS Capital Markets, said in a telephone interview.
White House press secretary Dana Perino refused to comment on the numbers, while adding that the administration said when the economic package passed in February that it might increase the deficit.
“That’s the price we would pay” for boosting the economy, she said at a briefing Monday morning. The White House budget office will release its mid-session review of the government’s balance sheets at 1:30 p.m. Monday.
Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, the presumptive presidential nominees of both major parties, may find their economic proposals constricted by the red ink when the next president is sworn in on Jan. 20, 2008.
This article was posted: Monday, July 28, 2008 at 12:51 pm