The Meltdown

Trillion-Dollar Deficits

According to The Wall Street Journal, Barack Obama is planning to push states "to permanently change their unemployment-insurance laws to cover part-time workers and prevent other laid-off workers from falling through the cracks in coverage." Even before such changes, however, New York State's computerized system crashed after the holidays as, reports The New York Times, it "could not handle the volume of calls and online inquiries it was receiving"—as many as 10,000 an hour. In order to entice states like New York, Obama will offer $7 billion as an incentive. However, the proposal, along with similar ones, is raising concerns over the ballooning deficit: a Congressional Budget Office report later today is expected to put the federal deficit at near $1 trillion, more than double the $438 billion that was projected in September.