Budget Deficits Raise Specter Of 'Crowding Out'

By John S. McClenahen For at least the next three years, manufacturers in the U.S. could find it's tougher to borrow money and the money that is available carries higher interest rates. The reason: so-called crowding-out caused by the federal government having to borrow more money to finance the return of budget deficits. Rather than running huge surpluses, the U.S. federal budget will probably be posting deficits until October 2004, the beginning of the government's 2005 fiscal year, expects Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., director of the White House Office of Management & Budget. In a speech to the National Press Club in Washington on Nov. 28, Daniels did not put specific numbers on the budget shortfalls, however. For fiscal year 2001, which ended this past Sept. 30, the federal government posted a $127 billion budget surplus. The prospective deficits are a product of the current U.S. economic recession and the unanticipated costs of a U.S.-led war on terrorism in the wake of the attacks on Sept. 11. Some Congressional Democrats also are blaming the deficits on President George W. Bush's 10-year, $1.35 trillion tax cut, which lawmakers approved several months ago.

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