The Washington Times reports:
President Obama and Congress are flirting with both a recession and a bigger jump in unemployment next year unless they head off looming tax increases and spending cuts — but doing so could mean a fifth straight year of trillion-dollar deficits, the government’s chief scorekeeper said Wednesday.
The latest update by the Congressional Budget Office shows the time for hard choices that lawmakers have feared for years is now here: Leaders must choose between economic pain and budget-tightening now, or continuing to bolster the U.S. economy with the risk of a bigger fiscal collapse later.
In response, White House press secretary Jay Carney released this statement, blaming congressional Republicans:
"Today’s Congressional Budget Office report only reinforces the urgent need for House Republicans to follow the Senate’s lead and pass a bill that gives middle class families the confidence that they won’t see their taxes go up at the beginning of next year. 114 million Americans deserve that guarantee.
"But instead of doing the right thing, Republicans in Washington have chosen to double down on the same failed policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place. They’re willing to hold the middle class hostage unless we also give massive new tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires – tax cuts we can’t afford that would do nothing to strengthen the economy.
"Congress also needs to act right now to prevent arbitrary spending cuts that would hurt military families, seniors on Medicare, and children who deserve a quality education. It’s time to replace these cuts with balanced deficit reduction that asks the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations to go back to the tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton – back when our economy created 23 million new jobs and a record surplus. But first, Republicans in Washington should do the right thing and pass a bill that extends tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses. There’s no reason to wait."