The United States federal deficit in 2008 was $498 billion, states The Heritage Foundation. This calculation has been adjusted for inflation in 2013 dollars.
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.