May 4, 2005


Tax Receipts Exceed Treasury Predictions (Jonathan Weisman, May 5, 2005, Washington Post)

After three years of rising federal budget deficits, a surge of April tax receipts brought unexpected good news to fiscal policymakers -- the tide of government red ink appears to be receding.

The Treasury Department this week reported there would be a $54 billion swing from projected deficit to surplus in the April-to-June quarter, after an unanticipated gush of tax payments poured into the Treasury before the April 15 deadline. That prompted private forecasters to lower their deficit projections for the fiscal year that ends in September. [...]

"I think it has turned the corner," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's, the credit rating agency. "My guess is 2004 will have been the worst year." [...]

In January, Bush administration officials projected that the streak would continue, with a deficit of $427 billion for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. But that estimate was widely regarded as inflated and many forecasters believed the total would be more like $400 billion.

April, however, turned out to be a far better month than anticipated. Taxpayers were confronted with unexpected tax bills, many from capital gains and the alternative minimum tax, a parallel income tax system designed to hit the rich but that is increasingly pinching the middle class. The Treasury announced this week that it will repay $42 billion in federal debt in the third April-to-June quarter, instead of borrowing $12 billion.

Wall Street analysts reduced their deficit forecasts this week, from around $400 billion to around $370 billion.

And significant numbers of troops will be coming back from Iraq by the end of the year as the WoT winds down...

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 4, 2005 11:49 PM

--after an unanticipated gush of tax payments poured into the Treasury before the April 15 deadline.--


Are these people stupid?

--unexpected tax bills, many from capital gains--

The market soared 02 and somewhat 03 and people held on and sold in 04. So did we.

Posted by: Sandy P. at May 5, 2005 12:49 AM

As the WoT winds down? Umm, more like as the Iraq Campaign in the WoT winds down. This is going to be going on for years - a lot of it in the shadows, with only a few major campaigns like this last one.

Posted by: Mikey at May 5, 2005 8:24 AM

It's already over, but like the chicken runs around without a head for awhile.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2005 8:31 AM

Which of course explains why bombs went off in front of the British Consulate in NYC this morning and yesterday the GW Bridge was closed for a couple of hours because one of the painters was arrested for being part of a terror cell.

Posted by: bart at May 5, 2005 9:12 AM

There are still Japanese soldiers hiding out on Pacific isles to fight the Yankee dogs, but the war is over.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2005 9:20 AM

It only takes one headless chicken and one nuke. As long as N.Korea and Iran still have the same rulers the WoT will continue. Like I said a million times before, if Bush leaves office and Iran has nukes and still ruled by the same mullahs, he will have done no better than a draw.

Posted by: BJW at May 5, 2005 10:36 AM

Only if the Denny's on Guadalcanal has an Early Bird Special.

I would not declare victory until either we, the Marbella or the Monte Carlo police arrest Bin Laden, the Iranian government falls and is replaced by a secular democracy more reflective of Iranian tradition and culture, and the Saudi royal family is overthrown by people tired of the extremist religious claptrap, moving the country to the relatively progressive status of the Gulf sheikdoms and ending the support for the tens of thousands of schools, from Virginia to Vanuatu, where kids are trained to kill people for Islam.

Posted by: bart at May 5, 2005 10:40 AM

bin Laden's dead and we've seen just how little threat al Qaeda posed. A few terror deaths just isn't going to change any situations on the ground for the worse.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2005 10:55 AM


To do what? It'd be sad to lose a city but wouldn't change anything.

Posted by: oj at May 5, 2005 10:56 AM

I hope that was a joke because I laughed out loud. It sure would change the middle east, and not for better (unless you really enjoy high levels of radiation).

Posted by: BJW at May 5, 2005 2:04 PM
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