Turns out the budget deficit is worse than anyone expected. A lot worse. It's set to balloon like someone fed it a buffet platter of ever-lasting gobstoppers. From the AP:
The Obama administration is expected to boost its estimate of the federal deficit over the next decade by $2 trillion, a move likely to trigger political wrangling over who's to blame and how harmful all the red ink will be.
The White House's Office of Management and Budget is expected to forecast $9 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years, up from a $7 trillion estimate earlier this year, according to White House officials who spoke last week on the condition of anonymity.
And it looks like the CBO is set to release a report that backs up the new figures. Needless to say, this won't make the health-care reform fight any easier for Obama when Congress heads back into session next month. Indeed, according to USA Today, it's already making an impact:
Lawmakers said Sunday that PresidentObama must scale back ambitious plans to overhaul health care because ballooning budget deficits are undermining support for more comprehensive and costly legislation.
As the White House prepares to release worse-than-expected deficit projections this week, even Democrats in Congress said that whatever health care bill emerges this fall will have to cost less than the $1 trillion price tag contemplated earlier this year.
"It's going to have to be significantly less than what we've heard talked about," Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., one of six senators from both parties seeking a bipartisan health care bill, said on CBS' Face the Nation. "We've got to have the deficit reduced as a result of this effort. That is absolutely imperative."