Washington, DC (PressExposure) March 21, 2009 -- Congressional Budget Office figures that were released by AP on Friday, March 20th forecast deficits averaging around $1 trillion a year over the next decade, which is $2.3 trillion more than the White House had predicted.
The even worse news in the report, is its implication that if Obama's policies are fully implemented, that deficits will never go below 4% of the size of the economy during the next ten years, which a whole slew of economists have already stated would be "unsustainable".
The CBO (Congressional Budget Office), which is non-partisan, concluded that Obama's proposed policies would cause government spending to dramatically increase above historic levels, even after many of his costly programs that are intended to end the recession had ended.
Meanwhile some Democratic budget leaders are putting their finishing touches on different versions of Obama's spending plan which they hope to bring to a vote in the House and Senate in the next two weeks, and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who is the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said he had already made, "lots of adjustments that will slice billions from Obama's spending proposals, generating smaller deficits", and added, "We're requiring more things to be paid for and to have tough spending discipline. It's just got to be done".
John M. Spratt Jr. (D-S.C.) who is the House Budget Committee Chairman said, "We will follow President Obama's lead and produce a budget that cuts the deficit in half over the next four years but still invests in areas critical to our future such as energy, education and health care".
There are however, many Democrats that were already uncomfortable with Obama's proposed budget that will now have an even greater problem backing it since it would inevitably lead to having to raise and not lower taxes, and they're more than likely to curb an Obama request for a 9% increase in non-defense agency budgets.
Reacting to the news on Friday, Obama said, "What we will not cut are investments that will lead to real growth and prosperity over the long term. That's why our budget makes a historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform. That's why it enhances America's competitiveness by reducing our dependence on foreign oil and building a clean energy economy".
Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) who is the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee said, "One would hope these numbers would wake somebody up. This clearly creates a scenario where the country's going to go bankrupt. It's almost that simple".
In a conference call with reporters, White House budget director Peter R. Orszag defended the president's agenda, maintaining that the forecast of bigger deficits and mounting debt is largely because of the CBO's view that the recession will be more severe, and the recovery more tepid than the White House expects. Orszag, who was a CBO director before he joined the Obama administration, argued that "long-term budget estimates are notoriously uncertain".
Republicans remain adamant that Obama's budget plan taxes, spends and borrows too much, and they've been highly critical of his $787 billion economic stimulus measure, and also of a recent $410 billion omnibus spending bill.