Federal revenue will return to its pre-recession levels in 2013, according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), setting a record for the most money the government has ever taken in.
In its latest Budget and Economic Update, the CBO forecasts that federal revenue will top $2.7 trillion in 2013, slightly higher than the $2.6 trillion the government collected in 2007, when the last recession officially began.
Government revenues had fallen by nearly $500 billion during the recession to $2.1 trillion in 2009, contributing to the $1.5 trillion deficit that year. However, federal revenues have been recovering since the recession ended in June 2009, and the CBO now projects that they will slightly eclipse their pre-recession peak.
According to historical tables compiled by the White House Office of Management and Budget, the government has never collected more than the $2.6 trillion it collected in 2007, meaning that if CBO’s projection is correct, it will set a new record for revenue collection in 2013.
This projection could undercut a key argument made by the White House that any balanced approach to deficit reduction must include more federal revenue in the form of “tax reform.”
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