Budget Deficits For Dummies: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love $1.4 Trillion


The U.S. budget deficit for fiscal year 2009, which ended in September, was a record-shattering $1.4 trillion, equal to about 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product. In case you're wondering, the previous record had been set in…2008.

$1.4 trillion dollars is a lot of money and it's hard to get your mind around that figure. One way to appreciate the sum is to think of it in terms of all the things that you could buy with that dough. The budget deficit, for instance, would pay for more than 1.2 billion nights at Rep. Charles Rangel's vacation condo in the Dominican Republic. And that's just for starters.

Don't worry if you have trouble doing the math, because you'll get another chance next year. The Obama administration has just released its estimate for the fiscal year 2010 budget deficit. The number? Another $1.4 trillion.

Approximately 1.30 seconds. Written and produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie.