Estimated 2009 United States deficit now $2.2 trillion

I was Jim’s guest on the Sound Off Connecticut’s special Saturday edition as he filled in for Dunaway. I mentioned the federal government was borrowing $20 billion a week. Sorry, I messed up. As of the end of July, we’re borrowing $43 billion a week, ensuring the 2009 deficit will be $2.2 trillion. The 2003 total federal budget submitted by President Bush was $2.2 trillion.

Nothing to see here. It’s all completely normal. We have to spend this money – that we do not have – to fix the economy stupid.

How the heck did we go from a total federal budget of $2.2 trillion just six years ago to a deficit of $2.2 trillion in 2009? Out of control federal spending and a reduction in tax receipts is the answer.

One year ago, the 2009 deficit was expected to be a “record” $490 billion. We’ll quadruple that estimate.

Morrissey at Hot Air notes…

Tax receipts declined by 17% in July, but spending went up by 21%.  Shouldn’t spending decrease when less money gets received?  For American families, that’s certainly how it works.  At the very least, one would expect Congress to hold the line on spending and stop any increases when it expects less revenue.  That would be the fiscally responsible path to take in an economic crisis.

Where did that money go?  It went to the continuing bailouts of financial firms and to the automakers.  Money also got spent on a stimulus package that has failed to stimulate anything, except a few thousand temp jobs and state deficit spending.  All that money stimulated was bureaucracies at the state and federal level, and at best paid for projects in 2009 that would have been funded through normal channels in the next year or two anyway.

Small wonder Barack Obama postponed the administration’s release of budget numbers last month in the middle of the health-care debate.  With the 38% swing in the deficit from last July, it would have made proposing a massive new federal program to run the nation’s health care much more difficult to justify.  Would you trust your health-care decisions to someone who can’t balance a checkbook?

More perspective?

  • The government is borrowing almost $8.8 billion every business day.
  • More than $185 billion every month.
  • Canada’s 2009 total federal budget is estimated to be about $250 billion (USD) for a population of 33 million. That’s almost $7,500 per resident including health care.
  • The United States is spending almost $13,000 per resident in 2009 and that does not include the cost of the president’s health care proposals or cap and tax schemes!


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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Linda Mae on August 10, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    We have to keep reminding those who blame Bush for starting the deficit that the Constitution states that it is the House which develops budgets and bills and it is the President who enacts them by signing them or vetoing them.  So, any money owed was signed for by Obama as Senator or as President.  It is NOT Bush's budget – but Pelosi and Reid's bill.

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