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The federal budget for fiscal year 2010 is due next week. The Obama Administration announced today the president has banned the use of four accounting tricks widely used during the Bush Administration to hide the size of deficit projections....
The four tricks include
- Removing the revenue from the Alternative Minimum Tax reform. Despite the yearly and almost certain Congressionally authorized "patch" to the AMT, the White House would always presume the AMT would not be corrected for that fiscal year, overstating revenue.
- Including the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
- Count as spending the Medicare reimbursements to physicians
- Include expenditures related to disaster response and relief.
The Obama Administration estimates those changes will result in budgets that are $2.7T deeper in the red over the next ten years.
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It'll provide the WH an opportunity to publish budget numbers over the last 8 years displaying real costs... at the expense of showing the real cost of the next budget. But never fear, FY10 will be a benchmark year...
And then we'll know what we mean by "cutting the federal deficit in half."
(Deficits happen or do not happen each year. The debt is the accumulated debt over 200 odd years. This has been a public service announcement.)