Report | Budget, Taxes, and Public Investment

The 2009 budget deficit—How did we get here?

Issue Brief #262

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Contrary to popular assumption, stimulus spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been a very small factor in the expansion of the federal budget deficit in 2009. Many policies that pre-date the Obama Administration, including Bush-era spending on the wars in Iran and Afghanistan, are key factors in the growing deficit.