President Bush touted new deficit figures Tuesday showing considerable improvement upon earlier administration predictions, trumpeting it as validation of his tax cuts.
Bush himself announced the deficit -- a task that has in the past been left to lower-ranking administration officials. The figures show that the deficit for the budget year ending September 30 will be $296 billion -- much better than the $423 billion that Bush predicted in February and a slight improvement over 2005.
Bush said the improvement is due to tax cuts he pushed in 2001 and 2003 and his clampdown on domestic agencies funded by Congress.
"These tax cuts left nearly $1.1 trillion in the hands of American workers and families and small business owners. And they used this money to help fuel an economic resurgence that's now in its 18th quarter," Bush said. "Economic growth fueled by tax relief has sent our tax revenues soaring."
Impressive profits and big income gains by the wealthy are largely responsible for the surge in revenues and, in turn, the deficit drop.