What is the US deficit?

US debt could grow faster than economy: Watchdog

Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget argues the U.S. went into the coronavirus crisis ‘woefully unprepared’ from a debt standpoint.

U.S. national debt is skyrocketing as Congress spends an unprecedented amount to blunt the economic pain triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

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WHAT IS THE NATIONAL DEBT, AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT THE ECONOMY?

The Treasury Department plans to borrow $2.9 trillion from April through June to cover the government's response to the outbreak of the virus, which brought the nation's economy to a near standstill in mid-March. By comparison, the agency borrowed $1.28 trillion for the entirety of 2019.

Currently, the national debt — which measures what the U.S. owes its creditors — is about $25 trillion.

US DEBT SET TO EXCEED NATION'S GDP FOR FIRST TIME SINCE WORLD WAR II, WATCHDOG WARNS

The federal government regularly spends more than it collects — the difference between the spending and the revenue is known as the deficit — and adds billions to the national debt each year.

CONGRESS HAS FUNNELED TRILLIONS TO CORONAVIRUS RELIEF EFFORTS. WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING?

For instance, in fiscal 2019 (which ended in September), total revenues were up $3.5 trillion and total spending was up $4.4 trillion. The resulting deficit was $984 billion.

The deficit for fiscal 2020 is expected to soar to $3.8 trillion, a record, according to a projection from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

The record for a fiscal year deficit was $1.41 trillion, set in 2009.

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