The U.S. has suspended a five-year plan to fund Kenya’s education programs following allegations that more than $1 million in funds went missing at the Education Ministry, its ambassador said Tuesday.The U.S. made the decision based on claims late last year that Education Ministry officials misappropriated 100 million shillings ($1.3 million) of Kenyan government and donor funds to finance the country’s much-lauded free primary school education program, U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger told a luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kenya.
Meanwhile in Washington just as the News is breaking. –Obama Gets Bad Numbers From Congressional Budget Office.
Jobs and the deficits are going to be big themes of President Obama’s big speech tomorrow — and he got some bad numbers on both topics today from the Congressional Budget Office.
A new report by the Congressional Budget Office says the nation’s $1.4 trillion deficit is more likely to go up than down this year.If Obama keeps President Bush’s tax cuts in place and extends other expiring tax breaks, the 2010 deficit would grow to more than $1.6 trillion, the report says. Over the next decade, the nation would rack up another $12 trillion in deficits, thereby doubling the size of the $12 trillion national debt.
“Daunting” and “bleak” were just some of the adjectives used by CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf on Tuesday to describe the 10-year budget picture. Spending is projected to outpace revenues, and the debt would soon be two-thirds the size of the overall economy. By 2020, interest payments on that debt would be more than $700 billion, about four times the size of the current amount.The report shows the unemployment rate rising slightly above 10% before declining slowly. Not until 2014 would the rate drop back to 5%.”In sum, the outlook for the federal budget is bleak,” Elmendorf said. “U.S. fiscal policy is on an unsustainable path to an extent that cannot be solved by minor tinkering.”
It’s time to have a broad discussion across the U.S. about the hard choices that need to be made to rein in the budget deficit: The latest Congressional Budget Office forecast and the Obama plan to freeze part of the budget highlight the unsustainability of federal spending.