The U.S budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 is $1.299 trillion, the second largest shortfall in history.
The nation only ran a larger deficit for the 2009 fiscal year, which included the dramatic collapse of financial markets and a huge bailout effort by the government. The nation’s deficit that year was $1.412 trillion.
This year’s deficit is slightly higher than fiscal year 2010, when the nation ran a $1.293 trillion deficit. Fiscal years run through Sept. 30.
Republicans have criticized President Obama for deficits that have skyrocketed since he took office. Much of the shortfall is from smaller tax returns, a result of high unemployment and falling incomes during the recession and a slow recovery.
The GOP has also criticized spending programs, notably the $787 billion stimulus package of 2009, that were backed by the White House and congressional Democrats for rising deficits.