White House putting off release of budget update
Jul 20, 6:20 AM (ET)
By Tom Raum
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.
The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.
The release of the update - usually scheduled for mid-July - has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.
The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.
The White House budget director, Peter Orszag, said on Sunday that the administration believes the "chances are high" of getting a health care bill by then. But new analyses showing runaway costs are jeopardizing Senate passage.
"Instead of a dream, this routine report could be a nightmare," Tony Fratto, a former Treasury Department official and White House spokesman under President George W. Bush, said of the delayed budget update. "There are some things that can't be escaped."
The administration earlier this year predicted that unemployment would peak at about 9 percent without a big stimulus package and 8 percent with one. Congress did pass a $787 billion two-year stimulus measure, yet unemployment soared to 9.5 percent in June and appears headed for double digits.
Obama's current forecast anticipates 3.2 percent growth next year, then 4 percent or higher growth from 2011 to 2013. Private forecasts are less optimistic, especially for next year.
Any downward revision in growth or revenue projections would mean that budget deficits would be far higher than the administration is now suggesting.
Setting the stage for bleaker projections, Vice President Joe Biden recently conceded, "We misread how bad the economy was" in January. Obama modified that by suggesting the White House had "incomplete" information.
The new budget update comes as the public and members of Congress are becoming increasingly anxious over Obama's economic policies.
A Washington Post-ABC News survey released Monday shows approval of Obama's handling of health-care reform slipping below 50 percent for the first time. The poll also found support eroding on how Obama is dealing with other issues that are important to Americans right now - the economy, unemployment and the swelling budget deficit.
Monday, July 20, 2009
BOTUS Puts Off Realease of Budget Update - Till After Congress Goes on Vacation
From Associated Press via MYWAY News comes the story below about how Obama, Emanuel & Axelrod Co. have decided to put off releasing the Budget Update until after August 7th when Congress breaks for August recess... Hmmm???? Need time to - ahem - "revise" the numbers Boz? or do you simply not want to be responsible for a collective apoplectic response from the Congs you're trying to get to sign on to your national economic suicide pact?