Congress' budget analysts are estimating that this year's federal deficit will exceed $1.3 trillion, slightly below last year's total but still a huge ocean of red ink.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the enormous shortfall is a result of the still staggering economy, which has meant lower federal revenues plus extra government spending aimed at prodding growth.
But the budget office sees this year as a turnaround. It expects federal revenue to grow slightly and government spending to fall off a bit -- both reversals of recent trends.
The analysts also see the deficit falling steadily over the next few years. But that assumes that big tax cuts that will soon expire don't get renewed.