The White House expects the national budget deficit to peak at $1.65 trillion this year, or roughly 10.9% of GDP—its highest level since World War II, the Wall Street Journal reports. That figure—which is significantly more pessimistic than the Congressional Budget Office’s $1.48 trillion estimate—comes alongside Obama’s newly released $3.73 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2012, which the administration says would shave $1.1 trillion off the deficit over the next decade.
Under Obama’s plan, the deficit would shrink to $1.1 trillion in 2012, and to around $600 billion a year thereafter through 2018. The budget would cut funding on a host of programs long-championed by Democrats, and raise taxes on the rich and corporations, the Washington Post reports. At the same time, it would boost spending on education, energy and medical research, and high-speed internet infrastructure. It's a revealing look at Obama's priorities, but odds are it'll be all but ignored on Capitol Hill, as Republicans push much larger cuts in a House vote this week. (Read more 2012 budget stories.)