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June 13, 2006

Deficit May Fall Ahead of Bush's Schedule By Three Full Years

He said he'd reduce it by one-half by 2009; he may manage it this year.

Aided by surging tax receipts, President Bush may make good on his pledge to cut the deficit in half in 2006 β€” three years early.

Tax revenues are running $176 billion, or 12.9%, over last year, the Treasury Department said Monday. The Congressional Budget Office said receipts have risen faster over the first eight months of fiscal '06 than in any other such period over the past 25 years β€” except for last year's 15.5% jump.

The 2006 deficit through May was $227 billion, down from $273 billion at this time last year. Spending is up $130 billion, or 7.9%.


The CBO forecast in May that the 2006 deficit could fall as low as $300 billion. Michael Englund, chief economist of Action Economics, has long expected a deficit of about $270 billion this year. Now he thinks there's a chance the "remarkable strength in receipts" will push the deficit even lower.

If Bush and the GOP porkers in Congress had held the line on spending, we might be talking surplus in a couple of years.

Of course, Clinton's suprlus came chiefly through economic growth as well. Though, again, he seemed more interested in restraining growth than Bush does, and the Republican Congress was much more eager to hold the line on spending with a Democrat as president.

Which begs the question: If Republicans thought holding the line on spending was a good idea with a Democratic president, shouldn't they be even more eager to do the same favor for a Republican president?

The message seems to be that spending is good, a favor done for a president from your party.


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posted by Ace at 07:19 PM

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