US Deficit Soaring to $1.6T This Year

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2009 10:56 AM CDT
President Obama looks on after announcing he is keeping Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke for a second term.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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(Newser) – Here's the latest eye-popping number produced by the recession: $1.6 trillion. The White House and CBO today projected that figure as this year's deficit, reports the New York Times. While it would be the biggest since World War II, the figure is actually about $260  billion better than anticipated in May. Still, the red ink is expected to reach $9 trillion over the next decade, says the White House.

“A lot of people will look at this deficit and say we cannot afford health care reform," said budget director Peter Orszag. In fact, it's more important now than ever to rein in costs, he said. Republicans, however, are already pouncing, notes the Washington Post: "If we continue to pursue this policy of Washington as the answer to every problem, it will cost Americans far more than the obvious burdens of ever-higher taxes, interest rates, inflation, and debt; it will cost us the freedom to run our own lives," said a GOP congressman.