The federal government spent a stunning $6.6 trillion in fiscal year 2020, and had to borrow nearly half that, sending taxpayers far deeper into debt, administration officials said Friday.
The $3.1 trillion deficit is more than twice the previous record set under President George W. Bush and President Obama in the wake of the Great Recession.
Revenue dipped slightly last year compared to 2019, but the real damage came on the spending side where President Trump and Congress opened the country’s wallet and shoveled out cash to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Administration officials said that heavy spending has actually helped limit the economic impacts of the pandemic.
“Thanks to President Trump’s pro-growth policies and the bipartisan CARES Act, we are experiencing a strong economic recovery,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
The fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
Heading into the year, the administration had projected steady growth. It saw revenue rising from $3.5 trillion to $3.7 trillion, and spending go from $4.4 trillion to $4.8 trillion.
In actuality, revenue dipped to $3.4 trillion, while spending skyrocketed to $6.6 trillion.
The government’s debt held by the public topped $21 trillion on Sept. 30. That’s up from about $14 trillion when Mr. Trump took office four years ago, marking by far the largest increase in any presidential term in history.
Total federal debt, including borrowing from trust funds, now tops $27 trillion.