U.S. Budget Deficit Forecast to Hit $1.8 Trillion This Year

President Obama's budget would generate deficits averaging almost $1 trillion a year over the next decade, according to the latest congressional estimates, significantly worse than predicted by the White House just last month.

The Congressional Budget Office figures, released Friday, predict Obama's budget will produce $9.3 trillion worth of red ink over 2010-2019. That's $2.3 trillion worse than the White House predicted in its budget.

Worst of all, CBO says the deficit under Obama's policies would never go below 4 percent of the size of the economy, figures that economists agree are unsustainable. By the end of the decade, the deficit would exceed 5 percent of gross domestic product, a dangerously high level.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Friday that the new projections won't stop Obama from achieving his goals or keeping his promise to cut the country's red ink in half within four years.

The administration is a bit more optimistic about the nation's economic growth over the long term than congressional analysts, Gibbs said.

Not surprisingly, Democrats and Republicans had different views on the figures.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio,  said the report should serve as a wake-up call to the Obama administration.

"Washington Democrats are learning a harsh lesson," he said in a statement. "Their unprecedented spending binge will have some very severe consequences for taxpayers now and future generations for decades to come."

Boehner said both parties need to offer better solutions for creating jobs "by letting families and small businesses keep more of what they earn and restoring some fiscal sanity in Washington."

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Budget Committee, said the estimates are "further evidence of the mess that has been handed the Obama administration."

"The reality is we are going to have to make adjustments to the president's budget if we want to keep the deficit on a downward trajectory," he said in a statement, adding that lawmakers would still adopt a budget resolution that reflected the key priorities of the president's agenda.

The latest figures, even worse than expected by top Democrats, throw a major monkey wrench into efforts to enact Obama's budget, which promises universal health care for all and higher spending for domestic programs like education and research into renewable energy.

Many Democrats were already uncomfortable with Obama's budget, which promises to cut the deficit to $533 billion in five years. The CBO says the red ink for that year will total $672 billion.

The worsening economy is responsible for the even deeper fiscal mess inherited by Obama. As an illustration, CBO says that the deficit for the current budget year, which began Oct. 1, will top $1.8 trillion, $93 billion more than foreseen by the White House.

The 2009 deficit, fueled by the $700 billion Wall Street bailout and diving tax revenues stemming from the worsening recession, is four times the previous $459 billion record set just last year.

The CBO's estimate for 2010 is worse as well, with a deficit of almost $1.4 trillion expected under administration policies, about $200 billion more than predicted by Obama.

By the end of the decade, the deficit under Obama's blueprint would go back up to $1.2 trillion.

Democrats in Congress are readying Obama's budget for preliminary votes next week, and they promise to cut the deficit in half within five years.

Democrats are likely to curb somewhat Obama's request for a 9 percent increase in non-defense agency budgets.

Obama's $3.6 trillion budget for the 2010 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 contains ambitious programs to overhaul the U.S. health care system and initiate new "cap-and-trade" rules to combat global warming.

Both initiatives involve raising federal revenues sharply higher, but those dollars wouldn't be used to defray the burgeoning deficit.

Republicans say Obama's budget plan taxes, spends and borrows too much, and they've been sharply critical of his $787 billion economic stimulus measure and a just-passed $410 billion omnibus spending bill that awarded big increases to domestic agency budgets.

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., who almost joined the Obama administration as commerce secretary before withdrawing consideration, said the CBO's estimates confirm that the national debt "will increase to shocking levels that are simply unsustainable and will devastate future economic opportunities for our children and grandchildren."

"Our struggling economy is now at a crossroads, and I strongly urge the Democratic majority to show the fiscal restraint needed to control spending, maintain a fair tax policy and cut the deficit, so that we can head off the avalanche of debt that is poised to crush the economy," he said in a statement.

The administration says it inherited deficits totaling $9 trillion over the next decade and that its budget plan cuts $2 trillion from those deficits. But most of those spending reductions come from reducing overseas costs for the war in Iraq.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.