Right Hooks

Federal Deficit Resumes Upward Climb

It was only a matter of time.

Jordan Candler · Jan. 19, 2016

Just last August, Barack Obama repeated his deceitful line about “cutting our deficits by two-thirds since I took office.” While it’s true that annual deficits have declined under his watch, it was only a matter of time before welfare and entitlement programs, which remain unreformed, got the pendulum swinging the other direction. That, combined with even more entitlement programs and the budget “deal” passed by negligent Republicans late last year, means the deficit is officially slated to resume rising. According to The Hill, “The federal budget deficit is expected to increase this year for the first time since 2009, according to estimates released Tuesday. This year’s budget shortfall is expected to rise to $544 billion, about $105 billion more than last year, according to a decade-long economic outlook released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).” Among the reasons:

Obama and GOP leaders negotiated a massive $680 billion spending and tax package that included retroactive tax breaks for companies and individuals. Accounting for that legislation, the newest CBO estimates reflect a deficit $130 billion larger than its projections in August. Another driver of the deficit is steady growth of mandatory spending programs like Social Security and Medicaid. The costs of those programs will rise $168 billion compared to last year’s spending. Spending on federal health programs alone — including Medicare, Medicaid and subsidies from the Affordable Care Act — will increase 11 percent compared to 2015 levels. Discretionary spending is also expected to grow in 2016, with $32 billion more budgeted this year than the previous year. That increase largely stems from the 2015 budget deal struck by congressional leaders in November.

By the way, “Within 10 years, the [total] deficit will grow to $9.4 trillion — more than a trillion over what had been projected in August, before Congress passed its massive package of tax breaks.” It’s painfully evident that neither Republicans nor Democrats are getting the message voters sent the last few election cycles.

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