Get Back To The Budget, Guys
The numbers certainly are impressive. The federal budget deficit, according to the Office of Management & Budget, will fall this fiscal year to $117 billion, or about 1.6% of gross domestic product. The deficit as a share of GDP hasn't been that small since 1974. But it's way too early to cheer. Credit is due, OMB admits, mostly to higher tax collections resulting from a stronger-than-expected economy. And the deficit is slated to start climbing again in fiscal 1997--and could hit $403 billion by 2006, according to estimates by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. That's thanks to runaway entitlement costs, chiefly Medicare, and mounting interest on the $5.1 trillion debt.
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