The White House’s midyear budget projections see federal deficits surpassing $1 trillion in 2019.
In an annual budget review, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimated that new legislation enacted since the release of its February budget — alongside new projections on other spending and receipts — would add $101 billion more to the 2019 deficit, pushing it above $1 trillion.
The midyear budget review was released quietly on Friday.
Estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had forecast the deficit to near $1 trillion in 2019, but not pass it until 2020.
Budget watchdogs said that deficits had doubled in recent years as a result of bipartisan spending agreements and the GOP tax-cut law passed in December.
“This is a striking acknowledgement following almost two years of claims that economic growth unleashed by these policies will wipe deficits away,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The budget outlook maintained the rosy economic projections the Trump White House has used in previous forecasts, but seemed to indicate a slight retreat from an earlier promise.
Trump officials have regularly argued that the administration’s policies would lead to sustained economic growth of 3 percent over 10 years, well above mainstream projections. In its updated budget outlook, OMB’s average growth rate dropped under 3 percent over the decade, dipping below the target as of 2025.
The White House also projected that corporate profits would grow 13 percent over a decade, while employee compensation would surge 68 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that hourly wages have grown just 2.7 percent in the past year, though once inflation was taken into account the number fell to zero.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget observes, “President Trump’s first budget (for FY 2018) projected a $526 billion deficit in 2019, under its policies. The FY 2019 Mid-Session Review released last Friday revises his current budget to a $1,085 billion deficit in 2019. That’s an increase of roughly $560 billion, or more than double.”
“Altogether, tax cuts and spending hikes account for more than four-fifths of the deficit increase between the President’s FY 2018 Budget and the recent Mid-Session Review. Moreover, CBO’s estimates show revenue will fall by $1 trillion, not rise by that amount.”