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But the University of Maryland’s ace economist, Peter Morici, who has crunched the numbers, says “that forecast is dubious, because it assumes 4 percent [economic] growth … which few economists would endorse, and cuts in Medicare payments to physicians and hospitals [that] few political observers believe will materialize.”

Now comes the heavy lifting and the far bigger spending battles - raising the debt ceiling and passing next year’s budget - with the Republicans holding the stronger hand.

It is generally conceded that Congress will raise the debt ceiling because the world’s largest economy is not going to default on its debts. But not before further spending restrictions are added to the bill that Mr. Obama will have to sign.

The next major heavyweight fight will be over the 2012 budget. It’s already begun with the House Budget Committee’s blueprint, which cuts or freezes virtually every government program.

The Democratic-run Senate, fearful of losing yet another budget fight, has yet to produce its own version, though the betting in this corner is that Congress will pass a budget that gets tough on spending and that those who would vote against it do so at their own political peril.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.