Budget Easter Egg: Not Halving The Deficit

By Marc Ambinder

President Obama's FY 2010 budget outline includes ten years' worth of deficit projections. As Obama noted two nights ago, he intends to cut the federal budget deficit from $1.75 trillion in 2009 to $533 billion by the end of his first term. 

But what's projected for 2014? A slightly higher deficit -- $570b. For 2015? $583b. By 2016, the deficit exceeds $636b again; by 2019, it's up to about $712b. 

The budget projects that the national debt will increase nearly two-fold over 10 years, from $8.3 trillion in 2009 to $15.3 trillion in 2019.

So why does the deficit go up? Largely, it's because the baby boom generation is retiring and taking Social Security checks. Social Security spending rises fairly dramatically over the next ten years. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/02/budget-easter-egg-not-halving-the-deficit/1009/