Date published: November 8, 2010
Journal code: NEAM
The Obama administration announced on October 15 that the annual federal deficit remained at a whopping $1.29 trillion during the fiscal year that ended October 1 , just a fraction under 2009's record of $1.43 trillion.
The deficit was more than $100 billion higher than Obama had predicted with his first budget proposal for 2010, but lower than more recent forecasts. The President's fiscal 2010 budget proposal, issued early in 2009 and entitled 11A New Era of Responsibility" placed most of the blame for the deficit that existed in 2009 upon the Bush administration. It claimed (partly correctly) that the Bush administration "helped turn a surplus of $236 billion at the end of the Clinton Administration, that was projected to grow still larger over time, into a deficit of more than $ 1 trillion in 2009." Of course, Obama's fiscal 2010 budget proposal had already been larded up with "stimulus" spending that spiked the deficit much higher than the nearly $1 trillion Bush-era deficit.
The Obama-friendly National Public Radio noted hopefully that "there's actually a fair amount of good news [in the October 15] report the administration would like you to know about."
Ironically, much ofthat "good news" had little to do with the Obama administration's own fiscal prudence or policies. The U.S. Treasury Department press release on the budget figures does claim credit for the slight decrease in deficit size from last year, but reading between the lines reveals that the decrease is simply the result of a Bush-era policy costing less than anticipated. "Due to careful stewardship of the emergency programs, their effect on the deficit was much smaller than previously estimated. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) had outlays of just $9.0 billion in FY 2010, which was $25.9 billion or 74 percent below previous estimates from July 2010," the Treasury press release claimed.