CBO comes pretty close

The papers are full of news about the ‘record high’ budget deficit announced this week. But very little of this deficit is due to Obama at all. In fact, one could make the case that Obama’s efforts resulted in a smaller deficit than expected.

Last January, when Obama was President-elect, the CBO came out with an estimate for the 2009 budget year. Based on Bush’s policies, such as TARP (which added almost $700 billion), they projected the deficit to be $1.2 trillion. And this does not include the $800 billion stimulus package, which is spread out over two years.

So, the expected amount would be around $1.6 trillion. The current $1.4 trillion is a pretty close to that projection, but indicates that Obama’s policies may actually have saved the US a couple of trillion, based on the January CBO numbers.

By whatever token, the budget deficit is lower than most projections. Assuming the deficit really matters since people in each party keep changing their minds depending who is in the White House.