President Barack Obama’s penchant for throwing money at any and all problems that face this nation will drive the federal deficit to gigantic proportions by 2013 and that debt could wipe out any gains in the nation’s struggling economy.
The federal deficit rose another trillion dollars over the last year — the largest relative debt since 1945.
And even though the deficit was slightly less than expected, it is projected to get worse — much worse — by 2013 — reaching 4.6 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
As expected, Democrats and Republicans blame each other for the problem.
The Obama administration said Friday that the federal budget deficit for the fiscal year that just ended was $1.4 trillion, nearly a trillion dollars greater than the year before and the largest shortfall relative to the size of the economy since 1945.
The number, while lower than forecast a few months ago, underscored the challenges ahead in shrinking the deficit even as the White House and Congress are considering more steps to stimulate an economy that is making a slow recovery. The political hurdles to finding a solution were evident on Friday as each political party immediately blamed the other for the growth of the deficit.
The shortfall for the fiscal year 2009, which ended Sept. 30, translates to 10 percent of the economy, according to a joint statement from the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, and the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter R. Orszag. For the 2008 fiscal year, the deficit of $459 billion was 3.2 percent of the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product.
Economists generally agree that annual deficits should not exceed 3 percent of the G.D.P., and that is the level President Obama had vowed to reach by the end of his first term in 2013.
But subsequent spending and tax cuts to stimulate the economy, and lower-than-expected revenues as the recession deepened before bottoming out, combined to push the administration’s deficit forecast to 4.6 percent of G.D.P. for the fiscal year 2013.