Truth on the Deficit

President Bush said, “I would call it a disciplined budget…It keeps us on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009.”

FACT: The president’s budget leaves off transition costs for his proposal to change Social Security ($2 trillion), war costs for Iraq and Afghanistan (over $100 billion), changes to Alternative Minimum Tax.

FACT: “Despite cuts to scores of domestic programs, the Administration’s budget increases rather than decreases the deficit over the next five years…A main reason for this outcome is the tax-cut proposals the Administration has included in its budget.”

FACT: It is the 2004 deficit that Bush is promising to cut in half, but he’s not starting with the actual 2004 deficit of $412 billion. Instead, his benchmark is the projected $521-billion deficit that his Office of Management and Budget estimated a year ago, when the fiscal year was four months old. Using half of that figure, Bush’s goal is to reach a deficit of $260.5 billion.