Coronavirus-fueled deficit nears $2 trillion for 2020
Uncle Sam has added $1.2 trillion to the budget deficit over the last two months, according to the latest numbers Monday that detail how the government has used cash to try to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its economic catastrophe.
In April and May alone, the government spent $1.6 trillion, while collecting just $416 billion in new revenue, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Those numbers have helped fuel what’s already by far the worst year on record in terms of government finances.
Through just the first eight months of the fiscal year, the government’s total shortfall is about $1.9 trillion — or nearly double CBO’s original projection for the full year — with four months still to go and hundreds of billions of dollars in new coronavirus relief still in the pipeline.
The pain is coming on both ends of the spectrum.
Income tax receipts are tumbling, both because of a slower economy and because the IRS delayed filing deadlines.
And spending is soaring, up 53% in May compared to the same month a year ago, when adjusted for timing shifts, CBO said.
Major increases included unemployment benefits, where the federal government’s $2 billion outlay in May 2019 surged to $93 billion last month and refundable tax credits, which were $3 billion last year in May, but amounted to $53 billion this year.
The Small Business Administration, which spent less than $100 million last May, spent $35 billion this time. And the Public Health Social Services Emergency Fund, which spent $250 million last May, spend $27 billion last month.