"After recording a fiscal year (FY) 2000 federal budget surplus of $236.2 billion, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in January 2001 projected continued surpluses throughout the decade. However, enactment of major legislation during the 107th to 111th Congresses, in combination with changing economic conditions, altered the federal budget outlook for the decade dramatically. In FY2002, the budget recorded a deficit for the first time since 1997, and the federal government has run a deficit in each subsequent year. This report examines to what extent major legislative changes from 2001 to 2009 caused the budget to move from surplus to deficit. Legislative actions taken in 2009 increased the FY2009 deficit by $509 billion, whereas legislative actions taken between 2001 and 2008 increased the FY2009 deficit by $903 billion. Furthermore, legislative changes have cumulatively increased federal budget deficits over FY2001 to FY2009 by $5.4 trillion."
CRS Report for Congress, R41134
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