Monday, July 14, 2008

Massive federal budget deficit so far in 2008

From CNN Money:
The Treasury Department says the federal deficit swelled to $268.7 billion in the first nine months of this budget year as record spending during the period outpaced revenues. ...

The new year-to-date deficit of $268.7 billion was the third-highest on record. A flood of tax rebates, aimed at stimulating the sluggish economy, left the government's coffers and contributed to the bigger deficit, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

Spending totaled $2.2 trillion, while revenues came to $1.93 trillion.

The Bush administration estimated in February that the deficit for this year would be $410 billion. That would be just under the all-time high of $413 billion logged in 2004. Some private economists think this year's budget deficit will turn out to be higher than expected as an economic slowdown has cut into tax revenues. ...

So far this budget year, the biggest spending categories are programs from the Health and Human Services Department, including Medicare and Medicaid, $520.4 billion; Social Security, $491.7 billion; military, $439.5 billion; and interest on the public debt, $377.3 billion.
Keep in mind that four years ago, President Bush promised to cut the deficit in half within five years. How's that going? Of course, a recession is not the time to try to balance the budget. According to Keynesian economics, the government should run surpluses during good economic times and deficits during weak economic times. Under President Bush, however, we have been running deficits under both.

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