From Bad to Worse

The Congressional Budget Office just released its latest projections on the federal budget. Things aren’t looking good. The CBO projects the federal government will rack up “$855 billion in debt between 2006 and 2015,” and $365 billion this year alone. But that doesn’t even begin to describe the scope of our budget problem. Through a combination of Bush administration trickery and legal technicalities, the CBO numbers don’t include:

1. The $80 billion Bush just requested for Iraq and Afghanistan (including, as Atrios notes, an astounding $1.5 billion for a U.S. embassy in Iraq).

2. Assumes no spending on Iraq or Afghanistan over the next 10 years. This omission reduces the deficit by as much as $1.4 trillion.

3. Bush’s $2 trillion Social Security privatization scheme.

4. $2.5 trillion over ten years to make Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, a stated priority.

Here is the really scary part: even with all this chicanery, Bush still doesn’t meet his promise of cutting the actual deficit in half by 2009.