US 12-month budget deficit above $1 trillion for 2nd straight month

AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinA ‘clock’ representing increasing federal debt is projected on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 12, 2017, as Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee question Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
  • The US budget deficit continued to swell in November as Washington continued to spend more than it collected in revenue.
  • The 12-month deficit came in above $US1 trillion for a second month in a row.
  • Lawmakers typically have more tools to reduce the national debt when the economy is in a solid place, but recent legislation has taken it the opposite direction.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The US budget deficit continued to swell in November as Washington continued to spend more than it collected in revenue despite solid economic growth.

The gap between federal expenditures and receipts grew to $US209 billion last month, the Treasury Department said in its monthly budget statement Wednesday. In the same month last year, the government budget deficit was $US205 billion.

The 12-month deficit came in above $US1 trillion for a second month in a row. Since the start of the fiscal year in October, that gap has grown 12%.

Receipts increased 3% in that period to $US471 billion, partly because of calendar quirks that shifted the timing of payments. Outlays rose by 7% to $US814 billion, boosted by health care and retirement programs.

Lawmakers typically have more tools to reduce the national debt when the economy is in a solid place. But it has continued to jump following recent legislation, including $US1.5 trillion tax cuts that President Donald Trump signed into law during his first months in office.

The GOP had initially argued that lower taxes would lift the economy enough to make up for the loss in federal revenue. But key Republicans have since walked back the long-standing claim that the 2017 package would pay for itself.

A bipartisan budget agreement reached in August lifted the debt ceiling and increased spending by about $US320 billion. That would amount to a $US1.7 trillion increase in projected debt levels over the next decade, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated.

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