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New estimates show deficit running into trillions of dollars

August 26, 2009 by  

New estimates show deficit running into trillions of dollarsTwo separate reports have put the federal budget deficit at $9 trillion and $7 trillion, respectively, for the 2010-2019 time period.

The figures released yesterday by the White House budget office predict a cumulative deficit of $9 trillion during the specified timeframe, which is $2 trillion more than the administration expected in May. In addition, the report cites estimates suggesting public debt will double over the next decade and reach nearly 75 percent of the GDP.

Meanwhile, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in a report also released on Monday, projected the cumulative deficit will reach $7 trillion, which is closer to the government’s May estimate.

The findings may have far-reaching consequences for President Obama’s ambitious reform plans, analysts say.

In particular, they may put a break on the healthcare reform which the CBO predicts will cost nearly $1 trillion, although White House officials have argued the massive deficit is another reason to push the reform through because it will stem the growth of healthcare costs in the long term.

However, the estimates also raise the specter of a fiscal burden that will have to be shouldered by future generations of Americans.

According to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, "If anyone had any doubts that this burden on future generations is unsustainable, they’re gone."

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