The U.S. federal budget deficit topped $1.4 trillion at the end of the 2009 fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Wednesday.
That number is about three times as large as it was at the end of 2008, CBO reported. It means the deficit at the conclusion of the 2009 fiscal year comprised almost 10 percent of the country's total gross domestic product, thanks in part to declining revenues and increased spending, their analysis also found.
From the CBO's summary:
"Nearly 60 percent of the growth in spending for programs and activities other than net interest on the public debt resulted from three sources: spending for the Troubled Asset Relief Program ($154 billion), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ($91 billion), and the stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA–over $100 billion). Other federal spending was up by about 9 percent, compared with the 7 percent average growth in outlays over the past five years. Payments for net interest on the public debt decreased by $60 billion in 2009, somewhat mitigating other increases in spending. That decline is due mainly to lower short-term interest rates and lower costs for inflation-indexed securities."