U.S. budget deficit down 37.6 percent through July

Government remains on track to post lowest annual budget gap in five years
Associated Press
Aug 12, 2013

The government on Monday reported a $97.6 billion deficit for July but remains on track to post its lowest annual budget gap in five years.

July's figure raises the deficit so far for the 2013 budget year to $607.4 billion, the government says. That's 37.6 percent below the $973.8 billion deficit for the first 10 months of the 2012 budget year.

The Congressional Budget Office has forecast that the annual deficit will be $670 billion when the budget year ends Sept. 30, far below last year's $1.09 trillion. It would mark the first year that the gap between spending and revenue has been below $1 trillion since 2008.

Steady economic growth, higher taxes, lower government spending and increased dividends from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have helped shrink the deficit.

Still, looming budget fights in Congress are complicating the picture. When lawmakers return from their recess in September, they will need to increase the government's borrowing limit. They will also have to approve a spending plan for the budget year that begins Oct. 1. Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on both measures.

Republicans want President Barack Obama to accept deeper cuts in domestic government programs and in expensive benefit programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Obama has argued that Republicans must be willing to accept higher taxes on the highest-earning Americans.

Conservative House Republicans have signaled a willingness to force a partial government shutdown as a way of defunding Obama's universal health care law, which they oppose.

A possible compromise would be to approve a stopgap budget to keep the government operating after Oct. 1 while both sides seek a permanent solution.

Obama has vowed not to negotiate with Congress over raising the borrowing limit as he did in 2011. But some Republicans want to test the president's resolve even if it rattles financial markets. Investors fear a doomsday scenario in which the country would default on its debt, which it has never done.

Through July, the government collected $2.29 trillion in revenue, up 13.9 percent from the same 10 months last year. Government spending during this period totaled $2.89 trillion, down 2.9 percent from a year ago. That decline reflects, in part, automatic government spending cuts that began taking effect March 1.

Collectively, the government's deficits increase the national debt, now at $16.7 trillion.

 

Comments

looking around

Lets hear the republicans wine.....

shucks

Oh how they love to whine and b!tch and deny reality.

arnmcrmn

Seems like you guys just do not understand why this number is low. Its because the Republicans hold the checkbook in the House and won't let the Dems just spend at will.
Thanks Republicans.

anthras

How do we know that the numbers are correct?? The Obama group advises that the treasury ran a $98 billion deficit in July but the debt stayed $16,699,396,000,000 and it has been that amount for 87 straight days. How do they do it well treasury secretary Lew sent a letter to House Speaker Boehner saying he was beginning a standard set of extraordinary measures to prevent the treasury from exceeding the legal limit. Hope he can stay out of jail with his extraordinary measures

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

If I remember correctly if we took everything from everyone in the top 1% (or close to it) that would only fund the Federal government for something like 100 days. Of course it would also kill the golden goose. Eating the rich, as the phrase goes, is a drop in the bucket and won't solve things. Neither will cutting to prosperity. I, for one, am tired of seeing this line repeated in newspapers every six months or so:

"A possible compromise would be to approve a stopgap budget to keep the government operating after [X date] while both sides seek a permanent solution."

It is also schizophrenic for Congress to simultaneously whine and moan about efforts like sequestration that they wrote and the President signed then brag that they didn't hemorrhage as much money as they did last year.

We're almost SEVENTEEN TRILLION in debt with an interest that I imagine is crushing and our leaders are dancing around a few billion in crumbs. Congress should just pass a bill saying that they don't have to operate on a borrowing limit, they never have to pay back any debt incurred, and that the national debt is now and forever declared to be $0 and only an act of Congress must in a super majority be needed to declare it to be anything else even if it is $1 no matter what the CBO or anyone else says.

There's an elephant in the room that nobody is talking about because they are too busy fidgeting the doilies for the tea set every five minutes so the dining room looks perfect for guests who will never ever come over.

The Big Dog's back

Wow hero, you need to address some of those issues you have.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Which? My being tired of the can being kicked down the road? The bipolar Congress? The fact that we may as well just not actually ever budget or try to live within a budget as a nation? My frustrations are bipartisan and multi-administration. I claim no political Master Race because, well, if anyone does...the context of this sentence speaks much about them.

PyrkinsPyrate

What would be better for our economy than people wasting time on tea cups would be if all the grown men in America got into comic books and fantasy collector cards.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

It would certainly employ a lot of artists and writers. It may teach them sportsmanship and how to create and disseminate an effective message. It would also illustrate rule interactions, mechanics vs. fluff, how to create something attractive, and many other sorely-needed lessons. It would also be a good reminder at how angry people can be when someone ruins something good that otherwise has a positive history.

Bottom Line

Lowest budget gap in five years... And Obama got elected how long ago? Oh yeah.

grumpy

The interest is not as bad as it will be when the fed stops printing money to by more debt. Then the rates will go up and the payment for interest will skyrocket.

Then as to another reason the deficit is down is the sequester. It HASN'T cut the budget. The budget has continued to grow under the sequester. What HAS been cut is the rate of the increase in spending. That has helped cut the budget.

The rest of the budget deficit decrease has been the tax increases on the 1% that Hero Zone has written of... much better and clearer than I would be able to.

Remember when, or if you whine about the sequester that is in effect... the President, or someone in the administration came up with that, and the prez suggested it, even if he did so as a last resort, if you don't like it you know who to blame for coming up with it.

Personally I like the sequester... it takes it out of the children's (the congress's and the president's) hands and will force them to do their jobs. If not we can point at who is to blame, the congress and president.

Wall Street likes the President's sequester idea and like the implementation even more. Obama seems to help those who serve in his cabinet and administration and used to work on Wall Street, till they get tired of politics, and then go back to Wall Street... again.

Maggdi

Sooo........ a $300 Billion deficit is an abomination. And hence we elect Mr. Obama.
But since a $607 Billion deficit is 37% less than a 1.09 Trillion deficit... we're getting somewhere.. After 5 years.
I feel so much better.
HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!

Donegan

The Fed prints 850 billion every 10 months, 85 billion a month. Still saving money?

coasterfan

How interesting. It seems that the policies of the Obama administration are working.

Low interest rates? Check. Improved housing market? Check. Low Inflation? Check. Steadily decreasing unemployment for 4+ years? Check. Obamacare working in states that want it to work? Check. Improved Jobs availability? Slow but steady improvement sure beats the tens of thousands of jobs we were losing each month in 2008. Check.

Republicans, of course, are certain they know how to stop all of the above ("We can't let things improve, that would make Obama look good!). They are counting on each of you to help them stop the progress. If their strategy sounds counter-intuitive, it's because it is...

arnmcrmn

Interest rates have been super low since the Bush Admin.
The housing market analysts have said its a stagnant recovering housing market.
Inflation low? Bahahahahahaha
Unemployment steadily lower? 7.8 5 years ago......7.6 now. Bahahaha yup steady decrease.
Obamacare is killing this nation.....FACT.

I really cannot believe that some people are just so blind to the facts.

coasterfan

1. Housing market has steadily improved over last year or so. New home building is up, and houses are selling easier and for more money than a year ago.

2. Unemployment went to nearly 10% during the Bush Economic FreeFall of 2008. It's now 7.4, the lowest in more than 5 years. Shown as a bar graph, the improvement cannot be denied: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/L...

3. In California and NY, 2 states where Obamacare has been embraced, it's actually saving people more $ than even the most optimistic projections. State-sponsored health care has not killed any other nation. Like Social Security and other Progressive reforms the GOP has fought, within 5-10 years everyone will realize that it was clearly the right thing to do.

4. I can't believe that people are so blind to measurable statistics, and accept Fox opinions as fact.

Contango

Re: "Unemployment went to nearly 10% during the Bush Economic FreeFall of 2008."

Nope.

The facts, not nonsensical political rhetoric:

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/L...

Your EXACT same link. You CAN read can't you Comrade Teacher?

There you go again

So....it took Obama 5 years to get the country's budget heading in the right direction. And we are suppose to be happy that he has reach a level equal to what "he inherited". This is something to get excited about?!?!

deertracker

there you go again!

coasterfan

Taking a snapshot of where things were in January 2009 doesn't provide an accurate picture. Our economy was on a precipitous decline (like nothing we've seen since 1929). A truck going downhill with no brakes takes skill and time to get stopped. This truck wasn't going downhill, it was going over a cliff.

Of course, the turnaround would have started sooner had the GOP not fought Obama's every effort to right the ship. Fast forward 5 years, and they are still making all the wrong moves with the economy (can anyone say "Republican-induced Fiscal Cliff"?)

2cents

(it took Obama 5 years to get the country's budget heading in the RIGHT direction)

Well not really, he is still heading to the left, far left : )

coasterfan

An interesting comment, since many Democrats are upset with him for moving further and further to the Right during his tenure.

Contango

Re: "Steady economic growth, higher taxes, lower government spending and increased dividends from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have helped shrink the deficit."

Thank the Federal Reserve's ZIRP & QE policies and the Sequester cuts.

Div'ds from Fannie and Freddie? The Federal Reserve has been buying $40 billion of mortgage backed securities monthly.

The govt. is funding approx. 95% of the home financing in the U.S.

Pres. Obama's policies working? Not hardly.

Besides, other than b*tch about Repubs, what 'exactly' are his "policies"?

arnmcrmn

A big Thank You to the House for not allowing Obie to just spend whatever he wants to spend.

deertracker

There is nothing good this President can do to EVER please the usual suspects! SMDH!

coasterfan

The same folks who deny science and other evidence-based data are the same ones who are denying that things are getting better. They actually believe that our country was in a better place economically in 2007-2008 under Republican leadership than it is in 2013 under Obama. Life inside the Fox Bubble...

anthras

It was much better up until 2006 and it then got much worse after the democrats took over congress.

SamAdams

Au contraire! He could resign, and I assure you I would be VERY pleased by that!

deertracker

Would you like to rehire W? You just don't like the guy but you cannot do a better job nor can anyone in your political party. COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN BUT OFFER NO SOLUTIONS.

coasterfan

Yep, that's my point. Things would be far, far, FAR worse had McCain or Romney been elected, since both would have doubled down on the things Bush did. Things that clearly did not work.

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