Commentary: U.S. deficit keeps growing

This editorial appeared in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

It's ironic that so many folks — automakers, banks, state governments, road builders and others — are hitting up their supposedly rich Uncle Sam for some serious dough as America's recession worsens.

News flash: Uncle Sam isn't nearly as flush with spare cash as some might think. Truth is, he's been awful free with the national credit card and has rung up a real dilly of a bill.

The federal government chalked up an astonishing $401.6 billion of additional debt just in October and November, the first two months of the 2009 fiscal year, because of declining tax revenues and heavy spending resulting from the government's financial bailout efforts, including its purchases of bank stocks.

Even taking into account the value of the government's stakes in those financial institutions, Uncle Sam's deficit spending totaled $267 billion for those two months, the Congressional Budget Office said.

$1 trillion-plus deficit?

Economists are forecasting that the budget deficit for the entire 2009 fiscal year could hit $1 trillion, which would be more than twice the record-high annual deficit of $455 billion for fiscal 2008 that ended Sept. 30. David Rosenberg, a Merrill Lynch economist, projects the 2009 deficit could spiral to $1.5 trillion, more than triple last year’s flood of red ink.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.