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US deficit in 2011 a record-breaking $1.5 trillion, CBO projects

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WASHINGTON – The United States is on course to have a record-shattering budget shortfall of nearly $1.5 trillion in 2011, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The figure would be the largest US deficit ever in gross annual terms, despite years of top lawmakers from both major political parties hammering about the need to reduce the deficit.

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The 2011 deficit clocks in at at 9.8 percent of gross domestic product, as opposed to 10 percent in 2009 and 8.9 percent in 2010, which were the largest since 1945, the last year of World War II that capped a period when spending was drastically ramped up.

The new CBO report pointed to “sharply lower revenues” and “elevated spending deriving from the financial turmoil” as the prime culprits of the rising deficit.

It noted the two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts – enacted under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 in December – as having impacted the 2011 deficit.

The CBO projections said federal revenues would rise in upcoming years if not for a change in current tax laws, in which taxes are slated to rise on all Americans to 1990s levels in 2013.

In Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proposed a freeze in non-defense discretionary spending in 2011, which Republican lawmakers later criticized as insufficient but didn’t specify what government programs to cut.

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The Obama administration this month proposed $78 billion in military spending cuts over the next five years.

House Republicans recently passed a measure repealing the national health reform law enacted last year, an undertaking that would increase the deficit by roughly $230 billion by 2021, according to the CBO. But the Democratic-led Senate displayed no intention of taking up the bill.

David Stockman, a former budget director for President Ronald Reagan, weeks ago told Raw Story the United States had “reached the point of no return” with regard to its current trajectory of cutting taxes and spending heavily.

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‘Smoking gun so hot it’s still on fire’: Ex-US Attorney astonished by text shown in Vindman testimony

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A former U.S. Attorney says Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has delivered "smoking gun" evidence of a quid pro quo arrangement between President Donald Trump and Ukraine.

The National Security Council staffer told a House impeachment inquiry that he was aware of -- and alarmed by -- efforts as early as March to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, which he believed were conducted to deliver a political benefit the president.

The counsel for House Democrats then showed a text sent 30 minutes before Trump's July 25 call to Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky, which shows the special envoy Kurt Volker dangling a White House visit to a Zelensky aide in exchange for an investigation.

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‘Perfectly impeachable’: George Conway says Vindman and Williams testimony is ‘absolutely devastating’ for Trump

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On Tuesday, as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams testified publicly about their knowledge of the Ukraine scandal, conservative lawyer George Conway called the testimony "devastating" for President Donald Trump — and proclaimed his conduct both impeachable and criminal.

This testimony, from two witnesses to the July 25 call, is absolutely devastating. That call was absolutely “perfect,” all right—perfectly impeachable.

And criminal.

— George Conway (@gtconway3d) November 19, 2019

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‘Improper’, ‘Unusual’: Aides describe Trump’s Ukraine call at impeachment hearing

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One top national security aide who listened to President Donald Trump’s July call with Ukraine’s president called it “improper.” Another said it was “unusual.” The two testified Tuesday at House impeachment hearings as the inquiry reached deeper into the White House.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, his counterpart at Vice President Mike Pence’s office, said they had concerns as Trump spoke on July 25 with the newly elected Ukraine president about political investigations into Democrat Joe Biden.

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