Deficit Likely to Hit Eight-Year Low as Usual Republican-Manufactured Debt Ceiling ‘Crisis’ Looms

by Joan McCarter –

boehner mcconnell

The U.S. could reach the debt ceiling limit in mid-November to early December, the CBO says, setting a deadline for a Congress already tied up in knots over whether to shut the government down beginning October 1 over whether Planned Parenthood gets to keep federal money to provide health care to women. Once we get past that GOP-manufactured crisis, we’ll hardly have time to catch our breath before they launch into another one over whether to raise the debt ceiling.

CBO’s projected deadline is later than the one Treasury Secretary Jack Lew gave lawmakers before they left town for the August recess. He warned lawmakers they could have to deal with the debt ceiling as early as late October, though he cautioned that the situation is fluid.Lew is expected to give lawmakers a firm deadline in the coming weeks.

At a press briefing, CBO Director Keith Hall explained that higher than expected revenue from individual and corporate income taxes has pushed back the estimation of when the Treasury Department will run out of its borrowing power.

About that higher revenue: the CBO is actually projecting that deficit is likely to fall by $60 billion in 2015, the lowest level in eight years. Gee, eight years. What could account for that?

The CBO said it now estimates a $426 billion deficit for fiscal year 2015, down from its $486 billion forecast made in March. It also forecast a fiscal 2016 deficit of $414 billion, a reduction of $41 billion.The new forecast would bring the deficit to its lowest dollar amount since 2007, and as a 2.4 percent share of U.S. economic output, it would be below the 50-year average.

The deficit peaked at $1.4 trillion in 2009 and shrank to $485 billion in 2014.

We certainly can afford half a billion dollars for women’s health care then, can’t we. We can also afford to do what Democrats have been pushing for all year: end the sequester and once again fully fund critical government services. That, in turn, could stimulate the economy further by creating jobs, 1.4 million of them according to the CBO.

What rationale are Republicans going to use this time for flirting with showdowns over the budget and debt ceiling? The ballooning deficit won’t work. We’re not at war (to their great dismay). Planned Parenthood is icky because it takes care of lady parts is the best they’ve got.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

 

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