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White House, CBO see budget deficits for years ahead

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. national debt will nearly double over the next 10 years as recession crimps government revenue while spending on retirement and medical benefits soars, official forecasts said on Tuesday. But an estimate by the independent Congressional Budget Office took a somewhat more optimistic view of the fiscal funding gap than a separate White House midsession budget forecast, which projected a cumulative $9 trillion deficit between 2010 and 2019. CBO's judgment pegged this number almost $2 trillion lower, at $7.1 trillion, because it assumed higher tax revenues. The national debt now stands at more than $11 trillion. However, both estimates anticipate a relatively swift decline in the size of the deficit in the years immediately ahead, on the basis of a return to growth in 2010, as the worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression comes to an end.