Bush Leaving $490B Deficit
Record red ink worse than administration predicted
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jul 28, 2008 8:53 AM CDT
Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – President Bush inherited a $128 billion budget surplus with the White House, but he's saddling his successor with a record deficit, reports USA Today. His administration is forecasting that he’ll leave at least a $490 billion deficit, a dramatic about-face made worse by a continuing economic slowdown and the rising costs of the 2-year fiscal stimulus package.

Bush had predicted the 2009 budget shortfall would be $407 billion, but experts say even the $490 billion mark may be optimistic if the economy doesn’t rebound. John McCain and Barack Obama, meanwhile, have proposed cuts that would worsen the deficit. "The picture's looking pretty dark out there," said the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.