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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the projected federal deficit report today. To put it bluntly – the country's fiscal outlook is somewhat grim for the foreseeable future.
The CBO — Congress' official, nonpartisan agency for calculating the fiscal impact of legislation – announced the annual shortfall would be $152 billion larger for FY 2016 than it was for FY 2015 ($439 billion).
It's an unexpected increase, the agency stated, due in large part to anemic economic growth in the first half of the year.
But before we go further on with the details of the federal deficit report, it's important to keep in mind that the federal deficit is not the same thing as the federal debt. Here are the definitions of each…
- The federal deficit is the annual gap between government receipts and government spending.
- The federal debt, of course, is how much Uncle Sam owes.
This year's projected $152 billion deficit increase is about one-third of FY 2015's actual federal deficit.
The budget office had even more dismal news than that, however…
The CBO also stated that it expects the deficit to rise again in FY 2017 to $594 billion.
And over the next 10 years, the United States will run a cumulative deficit of $8.5 trillion.