Deficit heading down?

In an interesting bit of timing, the White House is expected to release a report--possibly as early as this week--showing significant progress in whittling down the U.S. budget deficit. According to congressional sources cited by Reuters, the report will project the shortfall for the current fiscal year at around $420 billion--nearly $100 billion less than the Bush Administration’s fiscal 2005 budget forecast of a record $521 billion gap issued in February. The midyear document, originally scheduled for July 15, was delayed after Office of Management and Budget officials sought extra time to update their figures in light of improving economic conditions that have fueled higher tax revenues, says Reuters. The Democrats, of course, have made considerable political hay out of the ballooning budget deficit, so the report may provide a dose of much-needed good news for Team Bush as the Boston convention unfolds.

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