WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal budget deficit is projected to hit a record $3.3 trillion as huge government expeditures to fight the coronavirus and to prop up the economy have added more than $2 trillion to the federal ledger, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.
That’s more than triple the 2019 shortfall and more than double the levels experienced after the market meltdown and Great Recession of 2008-2009. Government spending, fueled by four coronavirus response measures, would register at $6.6 trillion, $2 trillion-plus more than 2019.
The economy shut down in the spring so people could be in isolation, in a failed national attempt to defeat the pandemic. That shutdown led lawmakers and President Donald Trump to pump money into business subsidies, larger unemployment benefits, $1,200 direct payments, and other stimulus steps that have helped the economy in the short term.
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