Bud­get deficit is $ 3.1T, break­ing ’ 09 mark

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - National -

WASH­ING­TON — The fed­eral bud­get deficit hit an all- time high of $ 3.1 tril­lion in the 2020 bud­get year, more than dou­ble the pre­vi­ous record, as the coron­avirus pan­demic shrank rev­enues and sent spend­ing soar­ing.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion re­ported Fri­day that the deficit for the bud­get year that ended Sept. 30 was three times the size of last year’s deficit of $ 984 bil­lion. It was also $ 2 tril­lion higher than the ad­min­is­tra­tion had es­ti­mated in Fe­bru­ary, be­fore the pan­demic hit.

It was the gov­ern­ment’s largest an­nual short­fall in dol­lar terms, sur­pass­ing the pre­vi­ous record of $ 1.4 tril­lion set in 2009. At that time, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion was spend­ing heav­ily to shore up the na­tion’s bank­ing sys­tem and limit the eco­nomic dam­age from the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

The 2020 deficit rep­re­sented 15.2% of to­tal gross do­mes­tic prod­uct. That was the high­est level since 1945.

The fi­nal ac­count­ing of the 2020 bud­get year shows rev­enues fell by 1.2% to $ 3.42 tril­lion, while gov­ern­ment spend­ing surged 47.3% to $ 6.55 tril­lion. That spend­ing re­flects the re­lief pro­grams Congress passed in the spring to sup­port the econ­omy as mil­lions of Amer­i­cans were los­ing their jobs.

Many of the ben­e­fit pro­grams ex­pired in late July or early Au­gust, and so far Democrats and Repub­li­cans have been un­able to agree on leg­is­la­tion to re­in­state them.

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