The story of the $1.4 trillion budget deficit for 2009

October 12, 2009

My pal Don Marron breaks it down:

A few days ago, CBO released its latest snapshot on the federal budget, documenting the remarkable challenges of fiscal 2009, which ended on September 30. The key phrase in the report is “in over 50 years” as in:

1) At $1.4 trillion, the budget deficit was 9.9% of gross domestic product, the largest, relative to the economy, in over 50 years.2) At $3.5 trillion, spending was almost 25% of GDP, the largest, relative to the economy, in over 50 years.

3) At $2.1 trillion, tax revenues were about 15% of GDP, the lowest, relative to the economy, in over 50 years. (I get the sense that this point is less well-known than the other two.)

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