Budget

CBO: Deficit hit record $2.8 trillion in 10 months

The deficit climbed to a record $2.8 trillion during the first 10 months of fiscal 2020, roughly doubling the biggest annual deficit, according to figures released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

“Revenues were 1 percent lower and outlays were 51 percent higher through July 2020 than during the same 10-month period in fiscal year 2019,” the CBO said in its monthly budget review.

The spending spike stems from coronavirus-relief efforts, which turned on a fire hose of federal funds to help rescue small businesses and airlines, in addition to providing enhanced unemployment insurance for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs during the recession.

Revenues were down even though last month brought in more than double the amount from July 2019, largely because of the tax-filing deadline being pushed from April to July. Outlays last month were up 68 percent compared with July 2019.

The national debt has become a sticking point in negotiations over another COVID-19 rescue package, with Republicans raising the alarm about additional government spending.

But top economists like Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and several of his predecessors at the central bank have urged Congress to “go big” to tackle the devastating recession, which began in February.

Amid the stalled negotiations, President Trump issued a series of executive orders designed to provide some financial relief, though critics argue the orders are ineffective and impractical without legislative backing.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Debt deficit Donald Trump economy Pandemic Recession

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