Jeff Stein | Washington Post | May 12th, 2020
The federal budget deficit widened to a record $738 billion in April, as the government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic led to massive levels of new spending and sharply lower tax collections, the Treasury Department said on Tuesday.
In April, the federal government spent about $980 billion but only brought in $242 billion in new tax revenue. In the past two months, lawmakers have approved almost $3 trillion in emergency relief in response to the downturn and also postponed certain tax requirements for businesses and individuals. Previously, deficits of $1 trillion for an entire year were considered unusually high.
Independent analysts have projected the annual deficit could exceed $4 trillion by the end of this fiscal year, which concludes at the end of September. Lawmakers are already at work on a fifth relief package as unemployment rises to levels not seen since the Great Depression.