"Federal budget decisions express the priorities of Congress and reinforce its influence on federal policies. Making budgetary decisions for the federal government is a complex process and requires the balance of competing goals. The recent economic recession adversely affected federal budget outcomes through revenue declines and spending increases. The federal budget recorded a deficit of 9.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) in FY2009, the largest value since World War II. Subsequent improvement of the economy and implementation of policies designed to lower spending have improved the short-term budget outlook. In FY2016, the federal budget recorded a deficit of 3.2% of GDP, which was still significantly higher than the average deficit since FY1947 (2.0% of GDP)."
CRS Report for Congress, R44881
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html