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WASHINGTON (AP) — In spite of budget wrangling and finger-pointing by U.S. policymakers, the government's short-term fiscal picture isn't all that bad. It's actually getting better — at least for now.

Washington is borrowing about 25 cents for every dollar it spends, down from over 40 cents just a few years ago.

And the budget deficit is dropping to $845 billion after topping $1 trillion for four straight years. The Congressional Budget Office says the deficit will keep shrinking — to $430 billion by 2015.

That's the good news.

But without a fix, the government's finances will start to worsen again as the three major "entitlement" programs — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — become more and more expensive and unmanageable under the increasing weight of retiring baby boomers.
Published in National News

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