Administration says deficit at lowest level in five years

The Bush administration announced Thursday that the fiscal 2007 budget deficit was $163 billion, a decline of $85 billion from last year and the lowest level in five years.

At an estimated 1.2 percent of gross domestic product, according to the administration, the deficit is half the 40-year average deficit of 2.4 percent of GDP. President Bush used the news to call on Congress to exercise fiscal restraint and not raise taxes.

"Now the fundamental question is whether the United States Congress will work constructively with the administration to keep taxes low and to keep spending sound," Bush said after meeting with his economic advisers. "I look forward to working with members of both parties to continue keeping our fiscal house in order and to continue to head for a balanced budget."

In an interview after the announcement, Office of Management and Budget Director Jim Nussle said lower-than-expected revenue growth last year reflected some softening of the economy but only "on the margins ... It means you cannot take economic growth for granted. We're not going to grow out of this. We need to control spending."

Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said Bush was trying to recast himself as a fiscal conservative and he called the bid "too little, too late" to make up for past spending.

"He will go down in history as the most fiscally irresponsible President ever," Conrad said in a statement. "The fact is that the nation's debt has exploded under his watch -- rising by $3 trillion since 2001, to $9 trillion today. And this debt buildup is occurring at the worst possible time, on the brink of the retirement of the baby boom generation."

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino attributed the buildup of debt under Bush to national security needs that had to be paid for in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "There was extra spending on that, and we don't apologize for it," she said.

The administration's most recent fiscal 2007 forecast, included in the July Mid-Session Review, had projected a deficit of $205 billion. At the beginning of the year, as part of Bush's fiscal 2008 budget proposal, the administration had forecast that the fiscal 2007 budget deficit would total $244 billion.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.