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Five Trillion Dollars In More Debt, In The Next Five Years

That's trillion -- with a 'T'. Ugh:
President Barack Obama’s new $3.83 trillion budget—on its way to Congress Monday— anticipates an even worse deficit this year than last and no big improvement until the economy improves and the nation sheds the crushing costs of two wars overseas.

It’s a bleak, nerve-wracking landscape for any White House, but the president is still betting on significant new spending for education and clean energy initiatives, including billions in loan guarantees for the nuclear power industry.

He would hire thousands of new personnel to process veterans’ claims faster, and amid everything else, wants billions to resolve the complaints of soldiers and airmen exposed to Agent Orange in the Vietnam War.

But behind the brave face, Obama’s budget anticipates that Iraq and Afghanistan war funding will hover near $160 billion for both 2010 and 2011— far more than he had hoped when elected and only modestly less than in the last years of the Bush Administration.

The strain shows itself in the new deficit projections, far worse than what the White House forecast in its first budget at this time a year ago.

After a record $1.4 trillion shortfall in 2009, the administration now says the red ink will reach $1.56 trillion this year and be little better, $1.27 trillion in 2011.

In fact, it’s not until 2014 and 2015— when Obama hopes to be in his second term— that he has any hope of deficits approaching a sustainable level. Even then he is banking heavily on a new bipartisan fiscal commission to really finish the job.
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Photo: Getty Images