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CBO: Deficit this year will be under $1T, first since '08

| Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 7:36 p.m.

WASHINGTON — For the first time in five years, the federal budget deficit will come in under $1 trillion in 2013, congressional budget analysts said on Tuesday, with the gap between taxes and spending to fall to $845 billion in the fiscal year that ends in September.

Attributed in large part to tax increases adopted on Jan. 1 and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit in March, new projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office show the deficit continuing to plummet in 2014 and 2015, and falling to less than 3 percent of the overall economy for much of the decade.

The national debt would stabilize to around 77 percent of the economy after years of rampant borrowing to fight the worst recession since the 1930s, the CBO said. Deficits, though, will begin climbing again as a percentage of the economy by 2019, the CBO said, as an aging population drives spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid ever higher.

“The CBO outlook makes it clear that, while we still have more work to do, the $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction we enacted over the last two years has moved us closer to stabilizing the debt and responsibly scaling back the deficit,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash.

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