Gasp! Yes, it’s true .
For the first time since President Bush took office, an unexpected leap in tax revenue is about to shrink the federal budget deficit this year, by nearly $100 billion.
On Wednesday, White House officials plan to announce that the deficit for the 2005 fiscal year, which ends in September, will be far smaller than the $427 billion they estimated in February.
Mr. Bush plans to hail the improvement at a cabinet meeting and to cite it as validation of his argument that tax cuts would stimulate the economy and ultimately help pay for themselves.
Based on revenue and spending data through June, the budget deficit for the first nine months of the fiscal year was $251 billion, $76 billion lower than the $327 billion gap recorded at the corresponding point a year earlier.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated last week that the deficit for the full fiscal year, which reached $412 billion in 2004, could be “significantly less than $350 billion, perhaps below $325 billion.”
(Please don’t repeat this to the “this economy sucks” crowd – we don’t want to upset ’em or anything