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Data: FRED and U.S. Department of the Treasury; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The federal deficit is now 17% higher than it was at the end of the last fiscal year, according to figures the Treasury Department released this week — but that just begins to tell the story of all the red ink we've been building up. Here's how the deficits have grown, shrunk, and grown again over the last 58 years.

Why it matters: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview with Bloomberg that the deficits are "driven by the three big entitlement programs" — Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — and most budget experts agree that entitlement programs drive most of the spending in the federal budget. But the latest increase also provides evidence that the new tax cuts could be making the deficits worse, as the Congressional Budget Office said they would.

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Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging. Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  4. World: Australian city to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  5. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  6. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery
Erica Pandey, author of @Work
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The dangerous instability of school re-openings

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Schools across the country have flip-flopped between in-person and remote learning — and that instability is taking a toll on students' ability to learn and their mental health.

The big picture: While companies were able to set long timelines for their return, schools — under immense political and social strain — had to rush to figure out how to reopen. The cobbled-together approach has hurt students, parents and teachers alike.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump doesn't have a second-term economic plan

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump has not laid out an economic agenda for his second term, despite the election being just eight days away.

Why it matters: This is unprecedented in modern presidential campaigns, and makes it harder for undecided voters to make an informed choice.