The federal deficit for fiscal 2019 is projected to climb to around $900 billion, or $118 billion more than last year, according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. Most of that total — $540 billion — is the result of legislation passed since 2015, according to a new report by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The budget watchdog group calculates that the tax cuts passed by Republicans in 2017 will cost $230 billion this year, or 25 percent of the projected deficit. A bipartisan 2018 deal to increase spending over two years will cost another $190 billion in 2019, representing 21 percent of the expected deficit.
Without those two major pieces of legislation and other laws passed since 2015, this year’s deficit would be $360 billion (or 1.7 percent of gross domestic product), the lowest since 2007.
“Fixing our debt will now require reversing the harm that has already been done with unpaid-for tax cuts and spending increases, in addition to confronting the rising costs of Social Security and Medicare with spending changes and/or additional revenue,” CRFB says.