Bloomberg by the Numbers: $845 Billion

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An elderly congregation member in Warren, Ohio.

That’s the estimated federal budget deficit for this fiscal year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

“Recent tax increases and spending cuts will help pare the deficit to its lowest level since 2008,” the nonpartisan agency said in the first comprehensive analysis of the government’s finances since last month’s deal that averted, at least temporarily, the so-called fiscal cliff, as Bloomberg News reported yesterday.

While the deficit shrank as a percentage of gross domestic product for the third straight year in 2012, deficits are projected to increase in the coming decade as an aging population consumes more health care services.

If tax and spending policies don’t change, “federal debt held by the public will reach 76 percent of GDP by the end of this fiscal year, the largest percentage since 1950,” the CBO report said.

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