Free Markets, Free People
CBO forecast for 2012– another trillion dollar deficit and 8.9% unemployment
Speaking of the record compiled under the Obama administration, the CBO provides plenty of ammo for the GOP:
The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday predicted the deficit will rise to $1.08 trillion in 2012.
The office also projected the jobless rate would rise to 8.9 percent by the end of 2012, and to 9.2 percent in 2013.
That’s because it has revised its previous estimate as the GDP growth numbers for last year were revised down.
Additionally, and reading between the lines, it also means that the administration and Congress has yet to even begin to get a handle on the main problem – spending.
Of course part of that stands to reason when you take into consideration the Democratic controlled Senate hasn’t passed a budget in over 1,000 days.
The Hill, ever the master of understatement, gives you a peek at what should be obvious:
A rising deficit and unemployment rate would hamper President Obama’s reelection effort, which in recent weeks has seemed to be on stronger footing.
“Hamper"?” It should put it in the crapper. Or so you would think. But then there’s the GOP primary going on, huh?
CBO Director Doug Elmendorf told reporters that Congress will have to make important choices this year regarding the supercommittee trigger and tax policy that will have huge effects on the deficit.
While unable to recommend choices, Elmendorf said that addressing the deficit sooner rather than later is easier.
The deficit was $1.4 trillion in 2009, $1.3 trillion in 2010 and $1.3 trillion in 2011. The largest deficit recorded before that was $458 billion in 2008.
Well, of course addressing the deficit sooner rather than later is a lot easier. Haven’t we been saying that for years? Decades?
Anyone think it will be addressed in this next year? Consider what the CBO recommends:
The deficit will be much higher if Congress takes several actions that many expect.
If the Bush tax rates are extended, for example, the deficit would rise.
It would rise if Congress patches the Alternative Minimum Tax, which lawmakers have routinely done to prevent higher taxes from being imposed on middle class taxpayers.
It would also rise if Congress continues to pass the “doc fix” that prevents a cut to Medicare payments to doctors, something that Congress has done on a near-annual basis.
Finally, if Congress does not follow through on cuts mandated by the failure of the supercommittee, the deficit will grow. Lawmakers are already talking about canceling scheduled cuts to the Pentagon’s budget.
So, let’s see – raise taxes, lower taxes, subsidize and cut spending. Or is that last one, cut projected spending?
The “doc fix”, unless passed, will see Doctors leave Medicare in droves. I certainly would if I were in their shoes. Any guesses how that turns out?
And while the Democrats only want the “rich” to pay higher taxes, if the current tax rates (also known as the “Bush tax cut”) are allowed to revert to their prior percentages, taxes will increase 30% on everyone by 2014. Catch 22?
The amount of money the federal government takes out of the U.S. economy in taxes will increase by more than 30 percent between 2012 and 2014, according to the Budget and Economic Outlook published today by the CBO.
At the same time, according to CBO, the economy will remain sluggish, partly because of higher taxes.
You don’t say? Stupid if you do, damned if you don’t? Nice position we’ve gotten ourselves in, no?
And finally, sequestration will “cut” 10% across the board, to include defense which has already taken that sort of a cut. Dangerous.
However, for the rest of the government, I expect the usual accounting tricks with no real cuts in spending if sequestration is enacted.
As for taxes increasing, the increase is fairly dramatic at a time the economy can’t absorb such increases:
The anticipated percentage increase in federal tax revenue is not only large when calculated in dollar terms but also when calculated as a share of GDP. The jump from 15.4 percent of GDP in fiscal 2011 to 20.0 percent of GDP in fiscal 2014 equals an increase of 29.8 percent. The jump from 16.3 percent in fiscal 2012 to 20.0 percent in fiscal 2014 equals an increase over two years of 22.7 percent.
Federal tax revenues have averaged “about 18 percent of GDP for the past 40 years,” according to CBO. So, in the next two years federal tax revenues will rise from a level that is below the modern historical average to a level that is above it.
Again I’m reduced to saying “what a freakin’ mess”. When I say over and over again, “we’ve been ill served by our political class for decades”, it is this to which I point.
Yes, all of this and the never mentioned additional 200 plus trillion in unfunded future mandated liabilities that have been amassed.