The federal deficit will hit a record $477 billion this year and get worse if lawmakers cut taxes or increase spending, the Congressional Budget Office projected Monday in a report sure to become ammunition in the election-year fight over red ink.
The budget office also estimated that deficits for the decade ending in 2013 would total nearly $2.4 trillion. The August report foresaw deficits totaling $1.4 trillion over 10 years. The added red ink was due in part new costs, such as the prescription-drug benefit created last year.
The deficit hit $375 billion in 2003, the highest-ever in dollar terms. The previous record was $290 billion in 1992.
Many analysts say the budget office's deficit projections will probably prove too low -- especially in the long-term -- because they omit expenses the president and Congress are likely to approve.
The two parties are already fighting over the red ink that has materialized during the Bush years.
The budget's health has taken an abrupt nosedive after four straight years of annual surpluses that ran through 2001. Only last January, the budget office estimated 10-year surpluses -- not deficits -- of $1.3 trillion. And in January 2001, when Mr. Bush took office, the projection was for a decade of black ink totaling $5.6 trillion.
Republicans say Mr. Bush isn't to blame for the turnabout. Analysts say the surpluses have dissolved due to the recession, the tax cuts Mr. Bush pushed through Congress and growing spending for defense, Medicare and other programs.
From a surplus of $5.6 trillion to a deficit of $2.4 trillion. $8 trillion vanished from the US Treasury into thin air entirely on George W. Bush's watch.
The previous record deficit was in 1992 back when his daddy was president, protecting Neil Bush from the S&L regulators.
It's all Barbara's fault — her and her entire family of leeches. Barbara is the matriarch of a dynasty raised to destroy America by fiscal bleeding.