Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Despite recent boosts in government spending and an economic slowdown that might be expected to reduce tax revenues, Washington’s estimate of its record budget surplus is about to get even bigger, perhaps by as much as $1 trillion.
In private meetings one day after the election, economists with the Congressional Budget Office, the agency responsible for the most widely cited estimates of Washington’s budget surpluses, told a panel of outside experts that they intended to ratchet up their economic forecast for the next decade.
The CBO’s move will boost the amount of money that Congress and the new president will have for tax cuts and new spending programs.
Exactly how much more will be available will not be known until January.
But almost everyone involved agrees that over the next decade, the extra plug of money will be immense — on the order of $500 billion to $1 trillion.
The CBO currently estimates that the budget surplus will run $4.6 trillion between now and 2010. About half, tied up in the Social Security system, will be off limits to politicians. The rest is considered fair game.