of the economic forecast for the 2011 fiscal year.The new estimate predicts the federal deficit will reach almost $1.5 trillion in 2011 and in 10 years will rise to $18 trillion.
Ccommittee members discussed how the numbers, which are based on the absence of any changes in the laws currently in place, will be affected by efforts to repeal the health care law and President Obama's soon-to-be released budget proposal for fiscal year 2012.
According to a CBO statement, the recent recession was "triggered by a large decline in house prices and a financial crisis, events unlike anything this country has seen since the Great Depression." It went on to conclude that the recovery process has been hampered by "a historically slow economic growth rate" and a high unemployment rate.
The latest figures from the CBO are up from previous estimates because Congress and Pres. Obama worked on bipartisan legislation in December to extend the Bush-era tax cuts. Though, the new estimates have already sharpened a political debate over spending cuts and upcoming legislation that will permit the government to borrow more money.
During his Tuesday night State of the Union Address, Pres. Obama proposed a five-year freeze on domestic spending that would affect a considerable segment of the deficit. In mid February, the President is expected to announce his fiscal goals when he releases his fiscal year 2012 budget.