By Martin Crutsinger
The U.S. budget deficit hit an all-time high of $3 trillion for the first 11 months of this budget year, the Treasury Department said Friday.
The ocean of red ink is a product of the government's massive spending to try to cushion the impact of a coronavirus-fueled recession that has cost millions of jobs.
The deficit from October through August is more than double the previous 11-month record of $1.37 billion set in 2009. At that time the government was spending large sums to get out of the Great Recession triggered by the 2008 financial crisis.
With one month to go in the 2020 budget year, which ends Sept. 30, the deficit could go even higher. The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting the deficit this year will hit a record of $3.3 trillion. However, the government often runs surpluses in September so it is possible the final figure for this year could come in just under $3 trillion.
That would still put the deficit well above last year's imbalance of $984 billion. The previous record deficit for a fiscal year was $1.4 trillion in 2009 in the aftermath of the financial crisis.