Interrupting our all-Saberi, all-the-time coverage this morning, highest-ranking U.S. blogger Peter Orszag (he may have other duties) announces the release of the latest budget information from the president. Included are the latest projections, a century of historical data and, perhaps most exciting, "Analytical Perspectives," a collection of specific discussions of various budget concepts. Heady stuff! I'll be trying to grind through some of this material today, but if you're sharing my excitement I urge you to check out the data and throw your observations in the comments.
Perhaps the newsiest bit of information is a larger deficit projection:
Treasury now estimates that overall federal revenue will be less than was projected in February by between $30 billion and $50 billion in each of this year and next. We also have more information about the severity of the financial crisis facing the nation, and this is reflected in new, higher estimates for the cost of financial stabilization efforts undertaken through TARP and by the FDIC.
It may also have to do with the fact that Congress has rejected a number of important and relatively low-impact revenue-increasing provisions that the president included as part of his budget. OMB has yet to revise the economic assumptions that are the foundation for the budget's deficit and revenue projections, which are increasingly regarded as a shade too optimistic. Orszag expects to revise those projections, particularly relating to factors like GDP growth and unemployment, over the summer. Doing so will likely bring the executive branch's projections in line with those of the congressional budget office.
-- Tim Fernholz
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