Obama administration officials leaked federal deficit projections that are about $300 billion lower than the $1.6 trillion deficit forecast in February. The improving picture is due to rising tax income and lower spending on efforts to shore up the banking system — which seems like good news, budget-wise. But is a $1.3 trillion deficit anything to feel good about?
This is the good news? Does Obama really want to crow about "merely overspending by $1.3 trillion, rather than the projected $1.6 trillion"? asks Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. If that's his team's proof of "fiscal discipline," they either have a grim sense of humor or they're "vapid and intellectually dishonest." This is Obama's second massive deficit, and the fourth in a row by the Democratic Congress.
"Celebrating a $1.3 trillion deficit?"
Obama's shrinking Bush's deficit: Last year's $1.4 trillion deficit was on George Bush's watch, says Dave Johnson in The Huffington Post, and $1.3 trillion would be an improvement. It's important to note that, contrary to some reports, "Obama did not 'balloon' the deficit." We're in this hole because of "conservative policies" — huge tax cuts for the rich, two wars, and Wall Street bailouts, mostly.
"Washington Post misinforms readers about deficit"
The numbers might just get better: Well, $1.3 trillion is still $1.3 trillion, and that won't look like fiscal success to many people, says Stan Collender in Capital Gains and Games. But since the White House leaked this, I'd guess they'll have even better news when the official numbers are released, a few weeks before midterm elections. A deficit of, say, $1.1 trillion isn't great, but being "a whopping $500 billion" under budget is music to voters' ears.
"Is a lower-than-expected deficit a good or a bad thing?"