The Campaign Spot

White House Admits 2009 GDP Drop Will Be Twice as Bad as They Initially Thought

Back in March and April, I, among many others, contended the Obama administration’s economic projections were way too optimistic.

Today the Obama administration admitted, “yeah, they were.”

U.S. unemployment will surge to 10 percent this year and the budget deficit will widen to $1.5 trillion next year, reflecting a “deeper recession” than previously expected, White House budget chief Peter Orszag said.
The Office of Management and Budget also forecasts that the U.S. economy will shrink 2.8 percent this year, worse than the 1.2 percent contraction the OMB projected in May. For next year, the budget office said the gross domestic product will grow 2.0 percent, less than the 3.2 percent expected in May. By 2011, the economy would be well on its way to recovery, growing at a 3.8 percent annual rate, according to the administration’s mid-year economic review, released this morning.
The budget shortfall for 2010 will mark the second straight year of trillion-dollar deficits. The projected deficit for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 is higher than the $1.26 trillion forecast in May and reflects expectations economic growth will be slower this year and next because of “the severity of the crisis in the U.S. and in our trading partners,” said Christina Romer, White House chief economist, who along with Orszag briefed reporters on the report.

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Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.