The Fiscal 2020 Deficit Could Be $4 Trillion

Written by SK Ashby

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the federal deficit would reach at least $1.1 trillion in fiscal 2020 and at least $1.3 trillion in fiscal 2021, but that was before the Trump regime bungled the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Trump's bungled response allowed the virus to spread unchecked and that necessitated a nearly countrywide economic shutdown to maintain social distance and "flatten the curve."

The economic aid packages recently passed by Congress in response to our economic shutdown will increase the federal deficit to historically-epic proportions according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) and there's probably more coming.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) ― A steep economic downturn and massive coronavirus rescue spending will nearly quadruple the fiscal 2020 U.S. budget deficit to a record $3.8 trillion, a staggering 18.7% of U.S. economic output, a Washington-based watchdog group said on Monday.

Releasing new budget estimates based on spending mandated by law, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) also projected that the fiscal 2021 deficit would reach $2.1 trillion in 2021, and average $1.3 trillion through 2025 as the economy recovers from damage caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns. [...]

These projections almost certainly underestimate deficits, since they assume no further legislation is enacted to address the crisis and that policymakers stick to current law when it comes to other tax and spending policies,” the group said in a statement.

Whether or not we should raise taxes on the rich is always a subject of debate and something that Democrats always campaign on, but this is bigger than any campaign and possibly even bigger than the difference between the two parties assuming that Joe Biden becomes the next president.

Raising taxes on the rich will be absolutely necessary to even begin to claw our way back from this much less to pass new, progressive spending legislation. And if I'm being honest, the latter feels so unrealistic I have difficulty envisioning it at all. Reaching a compromise to raise taxes on the rich will be difficult and will likely require giving something else up in return, but I can't see us continuing to function as normal otherwise.

Although it may not have even crossed his mind, Trump's bungling probably killed most of the progressive proposals that liberal candidates spent much of the past year running on. And that's not to say that those policies will never happen, but they probably won't happen until the middle of the decade at the earliest.

If Democrats don't regain control of the Senate, current and possibly future Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will use his position in inflict maximum pain and austerity on our institutions and working people in exchange for tax hikes. But even if Democrats do regain control of the Senate, it will be difficult if not impossible to pass something without eliminating the legislative filibuster.

It may finally be time to do that, but eliminating the filibuster doesn't come without significant risks and future cosequences.