President Barack Obama has now presided over five of the six largest annual budget deficits the U.S. government has ever run, according to data released yesterday by the U.S. Treasury.
In fiscal 2013, which ended Sept. 30, the deficit was $680.276 billion, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Wednesday.
In fiscal 2012, the deficit was $1.089193 trillion; in fiscal 2011, it was $1.296791 trillion; in fiscal 2010, it was $1.294204 trillion; and, in fiscal 2009, it was $1.415724 trillion.
In fiscal 2008, the last full year that George W. Bush was president, the deficit was $454.798 billion.
Even when adjusted for inflation, the $680.276 billion fiscal 2013 deficit is only exceeded by one pre-Obama deficit--the one the U.S. government ran in 1943, during the height of World War II. That year, the deficit was $54,554,000,000--or $738,367,890,000 in inflation-adjusted 2013 dollars.
The 2013 deficit of $680.276 billion exceeded the other annual deficits of the World War II era as well as the annual deficits that the U.S. government ran during World War I, the Vietnam War, or the final years of the Cold War.
In fiscal 1919, which began on July 1, 1918, the U.S. government ran its greatest deficit of the World War I era, according to data published by the Office of Management and Budget. It was $13.363 billion in 1919 dollars, or $180.863 billion in 2013 dollars, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.
In 1968, the U.S. ran it greatest annual deficit of the Vietnam era. It was $25.161 billion in 1968 dollars, or $169.294 billion in 2013 dollars.
In 1986, three years before the Berlin Wall came down, the U.S. ran its largest deficit in the final years of the Cold War. It was $221.227 billion in 1986 dollars, or $472.628 billion in 2013 dollars.
Since 1976, the U.S. government’s fiscal year has run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Before that, it ran from July 1 to June 30.
President Barack Obama was elected on Nov. 4, 2008, a little over a month after the beginning of fiscal 2009. He was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, almost four months into fiscal 2009. On Feb. 17, 2009, less than a month into his first term, and less than five full months into fiscal 2009, he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—an “economic stimulus” law that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated would increase the deficit by $833 billion over ten years.
HISTORICAL BUDGET DEFICITS:
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