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May 4, 2004

Up the Hill

Most readers of this blog will have seen this news already, but I thought I'd post it for any of my fellow New Englanders who happen to check in for one reason or another; many of them, if conversations are a gauge, will find it difficult to believe:

Smaller-than-expected tax refunds and rising individual tax receipts will pare back federal borrowing significantly for the first half of this year and could reduce the $521 billion deficit projected for the fiscal year by as much as $100 billion, Treasury and congressional budget officials said yesterday.

The Treasury Department's borrowing estimates may prove to be more good news for President Bush on the economic front, as opponents attempt to make his fiscal stewardship a campaign issue. The $184 billion the government is now expected to borrow through June is a 27 percent improvement from Treasury's February projection of $252 billion, the department said. ...

All of this indicates that the improving economy is beginning to slow a three-year slide in overall tax receipts.

"The 5.5 percent average [economic growth] pace in the latest three quarters was the largest since 1984," said Mark J. Warshawsky, assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy, in a statement to the department's borrowing advisory committee. "With the assistance of tax cuts, growth has become self-sustaining."

Reporter Jonathan Weisman leaves the best part (from a conservative's point of view) for the very end:

Last week, lawmakers in both parties voted overwhelmingly to make permanent Bush's tax cuts for married couples, a bill that would cost the Treasury $105 billion over 10 years. For the next three weeks, the House has scheduled successive votes on more tax cuts totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.

Why don't we cut some spending while we're at it?

Posted by Justin Katz at May 4, 2004 4:57 PM