August 22, 2012
President Obama and Congress are flirting with both a recession and a bigger jump in unemployment next year unless they head off looming tax increases and spending cuts — but doing so could mean a fifth straight year of trillion-dollar deficits, the government’s chief scorekeeper said Wednesday.
The latest update by the Congressional Budget Office shows the time for hard choices that lawmakers have feared for years is now here: Leaders must choose between economic pain and budget-tightening now, or continuing to bolster the U.S. economy with the risk of a bigger fiscal collapse later.
Already baked into the numbers is the deficit for fiscal year 2012, which will top $1.1 trillion — the fourth-straight year of trillion-dollar deficits, dating back to the end of President George W. Bush’s term and covering all of President Obama’s three and a half years in office.
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