The Deficit Reached a New Record Before Virus Response

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The federal deficit reached a new record high during the month of February and this record comes before any response or economic fallout from the coronavirus was piled on top.

According to the Treasury Department, the federal deficit for the month of February slightly topped the previous record at $235 billion.

The U.S. budget deficit was a record $235.3 billion in February, indicating the gap was widening even before the impact of any potential fiscal stimulus that the White House and Congress may deliver to cushion the impact from the coronavirus outbreak.

The deficit reflected $423.3 billion in outlays and $188 billion in revenue, according to Treasury Department data released Wednesday.

The gap was slightly wider than the previous record of $234 billion in February 2019, and in line with the $235 billion estimate of the Congressional Budget Office.

The deficit is absolutely not something Congress should be concerned about when considering an appropriate response to the virus, but this illustrates the magnitude of the GOP's fiscal irresponsibility.

The deficit was already soaring before a legitimate disaster arrived because the Republican party blew everything on tax cuts for people who were already the richest people in the world. The Republican-controlled government created a massive fiscal hole and flushed money down it with almost nothing to show for it. Well over half of all market gains since Trump took office in 2017 were wiped off the board over the last two weeks and the virus is about to take a big bite out of what's left.

Trump's tax cuts injected fake, temporary value into corporations who turned their windfalls into dividends for wealthy shareholders while investment in their own businesses declined.

A pandemic would be a significant blow to the economy under any president, but the policies and priorities of the Trump regime primed and weakened the economy making it more susceptible to the unexpected.

The Dow closed down by 2,350 points or about 10 percent today. It's in free fall.

  • muselet

    Every time the Rs are in control, the deficit (and debt) go up dramatically.

    That wouldn’t matter if the deficit were because of large, national infrastructure projects or other things that bring lasting benefits. The deficit and debt matter when Rs run the show because they—and their major campaign donors—are addicted to the sugar rush of tax cuts, which do zero for the economy as a whole.

    This news isn’t “water is wet,” but it doesn’t miss by much.

    And, yeah, the economic blow from the Covid-19 pandemic will come on top of all the bog-standard R foolishness. A coffee can full of cash buried in the back yard sounds like a sound investment, doesn’t it?


    • Draxiar

      Republicans are the guy sitting with friends at a restaurant, orders the most expensive meal, then tells everyone he forgot his wallet, chastises other people for ordering dessert because he feels it’s too pricey, then orders a meal to go.

    • notanncoulter

      yeah – cut tax revenue to a trickle and pump up the military budget at the expense of ANY program that helps people that are not big bucks republican campaign donors. then scream ‘we are broke’ and cut more from safety net programs. this then forces the responsible adults [Democrats] to raise taxes in order to clean up the mess – it’s a vicious cycle that’s essentially been going on since raygun. will this ever end?
      probably not, sadly.
      it works for them so it will perpetuate itself rinse repeat.