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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:58 pm 
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[url=http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-deficit29-2008jul29,0,4458909.story]Bush to leave a record budget deficit of $482 billion
White House officials say the economy and a bipartisan stimulus package caused the worsening picture for 2009, but Democrats blame Bush's tax cuts and fiscal management
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President Bush will leave his successor with a record-high budget deficit of $482 billion, according to an administration estimate released Monday.

White House officials blamed the slowing economy and a $150-billion bipartisan stimulus package for the worsening picture for the 2009 fiscal year, but Democrats cited the president's tax cuts and fiscal management over his eight years in office.

"The important point to remember is that near-term deficits are both temporary and manageable if, and only if, we keep spending in check, the tax burden low and the economy growing," said Jim Nussle, director of the Office of Management and Budget, which released the budget report -- the last of Bush's presidency.

Nussle argued that although it would be the highest deficit in history, it was manageable as a percentage of the country's economic output -- roughly 3.3% of the gross domestic product. And he said the deficit for fiscal 2008, at $389 billion, would be somewhat less than anticipated.

"The best way to compare a deficit is by your ability in the economy to manage that deficit," Nussle told reporters in a White House briefing. "We have a plan to address that deficit and bring it down, which I think is a responsible one."

The budget office's report also predicted that the country's gross domestic product would grow by 1.6% in 2008, down from February's projection of 2.7%. The lower figure was attributed to higher-than-expected prices for oil and other commodities, problems in the credit markets and the continuing difficulties in the housing market.

Democrats on Capitol Hill blamed the revised deficit figures on Bush's large tax cuts and freewheeling spending.

"If we gave Olympic medals for fiscal irresponsibility, President Bush would take the gold, the silver and the bronze, because he's got the three highest record deficits ever," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. "He sets records in every single category: 2009 would be the gold; 2004 the silver; 2008 the bronze."

Rep. John M. Spratt Jr. (D-S.C.) noted that Bush inherited a budget surplus from his Democratic predecessor, so the blame for the poor fiscal performance rests with him.

"Mr. Bush came to office with the biggest surpluses in history and he will leave office with the biggest deficit in history. That's the bottom line," said Spratt, chairman of the House Budget Committee.


I think there must be a typo in the title of this report. It should read Bush's MISMANAGEMENT.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:50 pm 
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Inflation at 17-Year High

Stagflation: It’s always sounded like a dirty word, and is hopelessly tied to retro jokes about the ’70s. But with GDP growth already, well, stagnant, the Labor Department announced Thursday that July saw the highest rate of inflation in 17 years, meaning you can now appropriately drop the word into water cooler convo without seeming like a potty-mouth or a retro hipster. On the downside, you are now paying 5.6 percent more for things than you did at this time last year.

From the New York Times:

Consumer prices were 5.6 percent higher last month than they were in July 2007, a brisker pace than economists had expected, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

That was the sharpest annual increase since January 1991, as Americans paid more for clothing, food, transportation and recreational products.

The news was distressing for investors and the stock markets initially fell on the report. The major exchanges recovered, however, and the Dow Jones industrials up more than 80 points in early afternoon trading. Investors returned to buying financial stocks, taking advantage of a sector that has fared poorly in recent sessions. The broader S.&P. 500-stock index was up 0.46 percent. Wal-Mart also reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profits, but the discount retail giant also issued a gloomy sales forecast for the rest of the year. In addition, crude oil prices continued to fall, dropping below $113 a barrel.

The overall Consumer Price Index, considered the benchmark gauge of domestic inflation, rose 0.8 percent in July. Economists had forecast a rise of half that rate. In June, prices rose 1.1 percent, the second highest monthly pace in 26 years.

MORE AT THE LINK!

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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