Federal Budget Deficit Swelled to Nearly $1 Trillion in 2019

Published Oct 26, 2019. By Alan Rappeport.

WASHINGTON — The United States federal budget deficit jumped 26 percent in the 2019 fiscal year to $984 billion, reaching its highest level in seven years as the government was forced to borrow more money to pay for President Trump’s tax and spending policies, official figures showed on Friday.

The deficit is growing in large part because tax receipts are falling, as Mr. Trump’s 2017 tax cuts continue to siphon revenue from the Treasury. The numbers reflect the fact that Mr. Trump’s most significant legislative achievement is not paying for itself, as Republicans have said it would. In fact, tax revenue for the last two years has fallen more than $400 billion short of what the Congressional Budget Office projected in June 2017, six months before the tax law was passed.

In the year through September, the pace of government spending has grown twice as fast as that of tax revenue, with higher outlays on Medicare, Social Security and military spending.

“The biggest factor was the tax cuts, which gave a short-term sugar high but now are just contributing to a larger deficit,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, which promotes fiscal responsibility. “We don’t have an economy that’s going to grow its way out of this problem.”