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Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. budget deficit grew by $113 billion in fiscal year 2018, driven by tax cuts and increased federal spending on defense, Medicaid, Social Security and disaster relief, reports CNBC.

The big picture: The total deficit for FY 2018 came in at $779 billion, or 3.9% of U.S. GDP, and was the largest of any year since 2012. In a statement, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that "America's booming economy will create increased government revenues," but warned that Congress should be wary of the "dire consequences" of irresponsible spending.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.

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