US 2009 Deficit at Least $1.2T

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2009 11:19 AM CST
Chart shows budget surplus or deficit from 1993 to 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – This fiscal year, which started in October, will see the US running a budget deficit of at least $1.2 trillion, the largest ever, the Washington Post reports. That number could swell to $1.6 trillion if Barack Obama’s massive $800 billion stimulus plan is approved by Congress. The president-elect pledged to keep Americans informed about the risky venture, and scour the budget for unnecessary spending.

The Congressional Budget Office issued a somewhat rosier $703 billion deficit number for 2010, but that doesn’t include any stimulus or war spending, or automatically renewed tax cuts. Rampant spending and decreased tax revenue brought on by the economic crisis are to blame for the deficits, the largest as a percentage of GDP since World War II. Still, Obama pledged to “bring a long-overdue sense of responsibility and accountability to Washington.”