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CBO: Deficit estimate for 2012 hiked to $1.2T

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – A new estimate from congressional economists says the government will run a $1.2 trillion deficit for the budget year ending just a few weeks before Election Day.

Last year, the deficit was $1.3 trillion. The almost $100 billion spike from earlier deficit projections comes almost exclusively because Congress passed legislation recommended by President Barack Obama to renew a 2 percentage point cut in payroll taxes and jobless benefits for people languishing on unemployment rolls for more than six months.

The Congressional Budget Office report comes as Republicans controlling the House are preparing for this year’s budget debate, which is sure to spill over into the presidential campaign as the two sides quarrel over Medicare, taxes and cuts to the Pentagon budget.

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