Federal Deficit Reached $984 Billion in FY2019, Highest in 7 years, CBO estimates

October 10, 2019 by Dan McCue
The U.S. Treasury Department. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The federal deficit reached $984 billion in fiscal year 2019, with spending far out pacing revenue, according to an estimate released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office this week.

This would be an increase of $205 billion over the 2018 deficit and the fourth year in a row when the deficit rose as a share of the economy.

The CBO’s findings show that government spending increased by around 8 percent, while revenue rose by only 4 percent in the fiscal year 2019.

The increase in the deficit to an amount equal to 4.7 percent of GDP, was the highest in seven years.

The increase in revenue was attributed to multiple factors, including rising individual and corporate income taxes as well as customs duties imposed on imports from China.

The increased spending, meanwhile, largely went to mandatory programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Other increases went to the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the CBO said.

Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said on Twitter “The near-term deficit is really growing because Congress and the president continue passing legislation without paying for it.”

Interest on the debt — $423 billion — increased by 14 percent and was the fastest growing major category of expense.

The CBO’s estimate is based on data released from the Daily Treasury Statements, which are issued by the Department of the Treasury. The department will report the actual deficit for later this month.

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