United States federal revenues, which are primarily in the form of taxes, are collectively known as receipts, while expenditures are referred to as outlays. A budget deficit occurs when outlays exceed receipts within a fiscal year. In 2008, the total revenue was only $2,741 trillion, while the total outlays amounted to $3,239.
The 2008 federal deficit was almost thrice the deficit from the previous fiscal year, which was at $179 billion. However, it was less than three times the federal deficit in the following fiscal year, which increased to $1,515 trillion, notes The Heritage Foundation.Learn more about US Government