The Federal Reserve lent weight to economists’ warnings of a long and slow recovery on Wednesday when it announced plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero for at least the next three years. The idea is that low rates will encourage borrowing and investment in American businesses, helping resurrect the economy.
The current year’s federal budget deficit, according to congressional economists, will top $1.8 trillion, the biggest ever by far. And their projection for the fiscal 2010 budget shortfall is tickling $1.4 trillion, putting both estimates much higher than they were in forecasts back in January.
Congress just raised our debt ceiling—the amount we’re allow to borrow—by $781 billion. It was either that or default on our treasury notes. This is the fourth debt-ceiling increase since Bush took office—some $3 trillion in total. Dick Cheney may have said that deficits don’t matter, but try telling that to the next generation of Americans, who are going to have one helluva credit card bill to pay off.