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US Faces Record $477 Billion Deficit - 2004-01-26


The U.S. Congressional Budget Office says the federal government faces a record deficit this year of $477 billion.

In its semi-annual report to Congress, the budget agency also says cumulative deficits over the next 10 years will add up to nearly $1.9 trillion.

The agency's last estimate of the 10-year deficit was much lower, at $1.4 trillion.

Many Democrats and some Republicans have criticized the Bush administration for the budget shortfalls of the past few years. Last year's deficit of $374.2 billion was the largest in U.S. history.

Some Democrats would like to change or abandon a 10-year tax cut plan President Bush pushed through Congress in 2001.

But Mr. Bush has said the 2005 budget he plans to send to Congress next week will include a plan to make the tax cuts permanent. Bush administration officials have said the budget outlines a plan for holding down discretionary spending and cutting the annual deficit in half by 2009.

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