The White House sought to allay concerns over the economy Tuesday, saying that "the recession will end in the second half of 2009" and that it would make moves in next year's budget to deal with the astronomical deficit. The rhetoric comes as the White House's budget office revised its estimate of the 10-year deficit to $9 trillion from $7.1 trillion. Administration officials used the larger number to press for their agenda. "The size of the fiscal gap is precisely why we must enact fiscally well designed health-care reform now," OMB director Peter Orszag said. A document released by the budget office also reaffirmed the White House's stance that it chose the best course possible to deal with the economic crisis, highlighting that the 2009 deficit of $1.5 trillion is actually projected to be slightly down from initial estimates.
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