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Fed government ran $660 billion deficit in March, third largest monthly deficit on record

March marks the third-highest budget deficit in U.S. history, only falling behind April and June 2020 due to COVID-19.

Updated: April 12, 2021 - 4:16pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The federal government spent $660 billion more than it collected in tax revenue in March, the Treasury Department said Monday.

The U.S. spent $927 billion last month, which also was more than double that of March of 2020, according to The Washington Post.

The department also said March marked the third-largest monthly deficit on record, only surpassed by April and June of 2020. The latest deficit was in part the result of one-time coronavirus stimulus paychecks to tens of millions of Americans under the American Rescue Plan. The payments went out to Americans in March. Despite the pandemic, tax revenue is roughly the same as it was last March.

"This is going to be a big deficit year because we were already running substantial deficits and passed a $1.9 trillion bill,"  said Marc Goldwein, of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "This is not higher than expected. It's what you'd expect with a $1.9 trillion stimulus on top of a structural deficit."

News of the deficit comes as Biden attempts to get his nearly $2 trillion infrastructure plan passed through congress, which could add more to the already growing deficit for the 2021 fiscal year.

Over the last six months of this fiscal year, the federal budget deficit has reached $1.7 trillion. The country's annual deficit in 2020 was $3.1 trillion. The last time the annual deficit was this high was in 2009 during the Great Recession, which was $1.4 trillion.

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