The federal budget deficit has soared to $454.8 billion in 2008. A housing collapse and efforts to combat the economic slowdown pushed the tide of government red ink to the highest level in history.
The Bush administration said the deficit for the budget year that ended Sept. 30 was more than double the $161.5 billion recorded in 2007.
It surpasses the previous record of $413 billion set in 2004. Economists are predicting a far worse number next year as the costs of the government's rescue of the financial system and the economic hard times hit the government's balance sheet.
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