Deficit Rises to $1.7 Trillion in 2023: CBO

Deficit Rises to $1.7 Trillion in 2023: CBO

The federal budget deficit totaled $1.7 trillion in fiscal year 2023, about $300 billion (23%) larger than the year before, according to a preliminary analysis released by the Congressional Budget Review on Tuesday.

The federal government received $4.4 trillion in revenues during the October 2022 to September 2023 period – $455 billion (9%) less than the year before. Outlays for the full fiscal year were $6.1 trillion, or $141 billion (2%) less than a year earlier.

As the CBO noted last month, the cancelation of the Biden administration’s plan to forgive billions of dollars in student loan debt distorted the data in both 2023 and 2022. If the recorded costs and savings for that plan – which never took effect – are excluded, the deficit in 2022 would shrink to about $900 billion, while the deficit in 2023 would increase to about $2 trillion.  

“Thus, without the effects of debt cancellation (and excluding the effects of timing shifts), the deficit would have grown by nearly $1.1 trillion from 2022 to 2023,” CBO said.

The fiscal hawks at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said the latest CBO numbers highlight the need to bring the federal debt and deficit under control. “After declining in recent years due to the pandemic ending, the deficit is now back on the rise, totaling $1.7 trillion in 2023 and more than double last year’s when you exclude the President’s now-overturned student debt cancellation and timing shifts,” CRFB's president Maya MacGuineas said in a statement. “With deficits doubling, interest rates surging, major trust funds on course to be exhausted in a decade, and new security threats emerging – everything is telling us it’s time to address the debt.”

The U.S. Treasury will provide the final, official numbers for the 2023 budget later this week.