Per the Wall Street Journal, "The federal budget deficit will reach a record of nearly $1.5 trillion in 2011 due to the weak economy, higher spending and fresh tax cuts, congressional budget analysts said, in a stark warning that will drive the growing battle over government spending and taxation. At that size, the deficit—up from $1.29 trillion in 2010—would be roughly $60 billion more than the White House projected last summer, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday."
"The landmark [health-care] legislation probably will not hold costs down, and it will not let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, chief actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee. His office is responsible for independent long-range cost estimates," AP reports.
The White House disagrees. Spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter wrote on a White House blog: "The Actuary has also raised concerns that implementing these cost-control measures may not be possible. Once again, we disagree. History shows that it is possible to implement measures that will save money for Medicare and the federal government. For example, both the Office of the Actuary and the Congressional Budget Office substantially underestimated the savings that were achieved by the Balanced Budget Act."
"In this new and challenging time, when America is facing tougher competition from countries around the world than ever before, we've got to up our game," Obama said yesterday in Wisconsin, per the Washington Post. "We're going to need to go all in. We're going to need to get serious about winning the future."
The New York Times adds, "If Tuesday’s speech was meant to sound a new, more optimistic note, Mr. Obama came to Wisconsin, a swing state in presidential elections, not only to repeat his message but also to illustrate it. While unemployment remains above 9 percent nationwide, in this town it is under 8 percent — 4 points lower than a year ago — partly because of hiring at the three factories, all of which have taken advantage of federal loans and tax incentives to retool, innovate and expand."
Way to go, Arizona: "An Arizona legislator has revived her effort to require presidential candidates to show their birth certificate if they want to get on the state's ballot," the New York Daily News writes. "State Rep. Judy Burges submitted a new version of the 'Birther Bill' on Tuesday, even though a similar bill failed to gain support last year."
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said a replacement for White House Press Secretary should be coming "soon" -- though he didn't hint at who it could be or when the announcement would come.
First Lady Michelle Obama is on Oprah today. She pre-taped the interview yesterday and lauded military families.