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Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The federal budget deficit will reach $3.3 trillion in the fiscal year ending this month — more than triple the 2019 shortfall, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected on Wednesday.

Why it matters: That would be 16% of GDP, the largest amount since the end of World War II in 1945. The national debt is projected to exceed 100% of GDP in 2021 and rise to 107% in 2023 — "the highest in the nation's history," the CBO notes.

Driving the news: The CBO attributed the rise mostly to the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic "and the enactment of legislation in response."

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Felix Salmon: The U.S. government can borrow at less than the rate of inflation, which is a sign from the markets that they’re encouraging higher government spending, higher borrowing and higher debt.

  • The Treasury will always be able to repay that debt, because it borrows in dollars and can print as many of those as it likes.

Of note: The deficit could have been worse. The CBO projected in April that it would jump to $3.7 trillion.

Go deeper

Even bond investors look to be joining the risk-on party

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Long-dated U.S. Treasury yields jumped on Tuesday, as momentum pushed bond investors to sell and join the risk-on party in financial markets.

Why it matters: Bond investors have largely been incredulous about the prospects for U.S. growth and inflation — but recent good news on COVID-19 vaccines, global manufacturing data and U.S. holiday retail sales helped push yields on the 10-year Treasury note up by the most in nearly a month.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly Priest Johnson e in the t figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.

Who in Congress is talking about Ukraine the most

Data: Quorum; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Mentions of Ukraine or Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in congressional statements and social media posts have been on the rise — with nearly 1,000 already this month, according to data from Quorum.

Why it matters: The growing threat of a Russian invasion has been mirrored by a growth in Ukraine-related chatter.