Two months after the US Treasury reported the widest annual deficit in six years for fiscal 2018, moments ago the US posted the biggest November budget deficit on record as total government spending came in twice as much as revenue.
November outlays surged 18.4% to $411 billion last month from $347 billion a year ago, while receipts actually declined 1% to $206 billion from $208 billion in 2017, the Treasury Department said in a monthly report on Thursday. The biggest spending categories were Social Security ($84BN), Medicare ($77BN), National Defense ($62BN), Income security ($46BN) and Health ($42BN). Net interest on the US debt of nearly $22 trillion came in at a hefty $33BN. Meanwhile, Individual Income Taxes and Social Security Taxes both generated $93BN in income each.
The result was a November deficit of $205 billion, a 48% increase from the $139 billion shortfall a year earlier, and the biggest November deficit on record.
For the first two months of the fiscal year which began Oct. 1, the deficit widened to $305.4 billion, up 50% compared with $201.8 billion the same period a year earlier.
On a LTM basis, the US deficit has more than doubled from the $405BN it hit in February 2016 to $883BN as of the 12 months ended November. It was the second highest LTM number since early 2013.
In Fiscal 2018, the first full year of Donald Trump’s presidency in which he enacted a tax-cut package and enacted a $1+ trillion stimulus, the U.S. ran the largest deficit in six years. The various spending programs and tax cuts have added to the growing federal deficit, which is expected to hit $1 trillion some time in fiscal 2019, one year sooner than disclosed in the CBO’s most recent forecast ; in April the agency didn’t expect the deficit to reach $1 trillion until 2020.
Then again, over the long run none of this matters…
Spirits lost in a material world