US Budget Deficit Jumped By $140 Billion Through June
WASHINGTON – The U.S. budget deficit increased by $140 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal year, rising to $747.1 billion, the Treasury Department said Thursday.
The department said the deficit for the current fiscal year through June is up 23.1% over the same period a year ago, with receipts rising by 2.7% while spending increased 6.6%.
In the meantime, the cost of the net interest the government owes grew by 16.4% during the first nine months of this fiscal year compared to the same period last year, far outpacing Defense spending (8.4%), Medicare (6.4%), Social Security (5.6%) and Transportation (4.6%).
For the October to June period, government receipts have totaled $2.61 trillion while spending totaled $3.36 trillion, both record amounts for the first nine months of the budget year.
The disparity between the two numbers reflects a variety of factors including a $1.5 trillion tax cut President Donald Trump pushed through Congress in late 2017 and billions of dollars in extra spending Congress approved in early 2018.
One big increase on the revenue side of the ledger was a 78% jump in customs duties, which total $52 billion so far this budget year.
Trump in May announced that he was doubling the punitive tariff he had imposed on $250 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% after talks on a new trade agreement broke down.
As for the future, that’s anybody’s guess. The Trump administration has forecast the deficit for the full budget year, which ends on Sept. 30, will top $1 trillion, up from a deficit of $779 billion last year.
The Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, is forecasting a deficit of $896 billion this year.
At the same time, however, the CBO has projected deficits will top $1 trillion beginning in 2022 and will remain above $1 trillion annually through 2029.
The outlook for next year is even fuzzier.
Congress and the Trump administration have yet to agree on a spending plan for the next fiscal year, which starts on October 1.
In addition, Congress must pass an increase to the debt ceiling, something the White House would like to see done before the August recess, or risk an unprecedented default in the $22 trillion national debt.
So far, though negotiators appear to be far from hashing out a final budget deal.
Thursday’s report led to renewed warnings from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation that it is long past time for the U.S. government to get its fiscal house in order and rein in the debt, the fastest growing federal budget category.
The foundation noted that in FY 2018, the federal government spent more on interest than it did on budget areas such as veterans’ benefits, transportation, and administration of justice; that the government is currently spending an average of over $1 billion per day to service the debt; and that over the course of the current year, the government will spend an approximate average of $3,000 per American family on net interest alone.
In The News
WASHINGTON - The federal budget deficit is growing faster than expected and will reach $1 trillion next year, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. Worse, over the next decade, the federal government will rack up $12.2 trillion in deficits -- $809 billion more than the... Read More
WASHINGTON - Back home in South Carolina after a mid-week trip to New Hampshire, former Rep. Mark Sanford said Friday he was pleased with how things went in the Granite State and his decision on whether to mount a primary challenge against President Trump will be... Read More
WASHINGTON - Despite pushback from conservative Republicans, the budget and debt ceiling deal struck by the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., easily passed the Senate Thursday afternoon. Even with fears that the vote in the Senate would be tight, the legislation passed 67-28,... Read More
WASHINGTON — White House officials and congressional leaders reached a deal Monday evening to lift the nation’s debt limit and boost federal spending by about $320 billion over caps set to take effect under a 2011 budget law. The agreement, first announced by President Donald Trump... Read More
WASHINGTON—The Blue Dog Coalition on Thursday released a comprehensive plan it believes will help restore fiscal discipline in Congress. The Blue Dog Blueprint for Fiscal Reform was developed under the leadership of Representatives Ed Case, D-Hawaii, and Ben McAdams, D-Utah, co-chairs of the Blue Dog Task... Read More
Controversy continues to roil Alaska, a week after the state legislature failed to overturn $444 million in budget cuts by Governor Mike Dunleavy. The latest dispute, resolved only Wednesday, concerned the location for a special session of the legislature that Dunleavy initially called solely to determine... Read More