24 Mar Record Breaking Deficit. Click to keep reading…
The U.S. is breaking a record that is nothing to boast about. In 2020, the U.S. budget deficit was $3.1 trillion. The Treasury Department reported that the October through February deficit was 68% larger than the $624.5 billion deficit records during the same period in 2019. Nancy Vanden Houten, senior economist at Oxford Economics, estimates that President Biden’s latest COVID relief package will drive this year’s deficit up to $3.4 trillion. In fact, the deficit in February, 2021 was $310.9 billion, up from $236.3 billion in February, 2020, the month before the pandemic shuttered businesses and triggered extraordinary job losses. The COVID relief packages passed by Congress last March pushed the deficit higher by trillions of dollars. The Treasury Department included an additional $148 billion for the Labor Department, to fund the extension of unemployment benefits, and an additional $24 billion for the Agriculture Department which will be used for increases to government food assistance departments.
Mayra MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, hopes that “for all its flaws, we are hopeful this package will help end the pandemic and will restore the economy to its prior strength. At that point, we’ll need a plan to tackle our high and rising national debt.”
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