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Digging the Hole Deeper: The Senate Plan Substantially Increases Deficits

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The Senate approved a budget plan on March 12, 2004, that would cause deficits in coming years to be larger than they otherwise would be. True, under the plan, deficits would decline by 2009 from their current, very high levels. But in the absence of the Senate Budget Committee plan, deficits would decline further and more rapidly.

As the graph and Table 1 show, the deficits under the Senate plan are larger than the deficits that CBO projects under current law. The CBO projections, known as the CBO “baseline,” are calculated by assuming that tax and entitlement law will remain unchanged and that funding for annually appropriated (“discretionary”) programs will grow with inflation.