November Treasury Budget

Atlas does not think that fiscal year 2013 is off to a good start according of data released by the Treasury Department.  Both October and November saw increases in the deficit from a year earlier.  The $172 billion deficit in the second month of the fiscal year compares to a shortfall of $137 billion in the same month last year.

The government, however, cannot be blamed for the entire problem.  The Treasury Department conveniently noted in their release that the calendar impacted this month’s deficit.  Because the first of December fell on a Saturday, payments for various benefits were paid a day early and counted as part of November’s outlays.

Higher receipts (which are primarily taxes) helped keep the deficit from being even larger.  The government collected a little over six percent more than in the same month a year ago.  But government outlays were 15.2 percent higher.  Year-to-date, the deficit is nearly 24 percent higher than this time last year.  Of course, some of this should factor out next month because of the advanced December outlays mentioned earlier.

To say that the fiscal situation in the U.S. is bad will not likely upset any apple carts.  The current projected deficit this year will fall just short of $1 trillion according to the Treasury.  Meanwhile, the beltway continues to argue about the best way to tighten things up, so until there is more clarity on the budget, America is on pace to spend $1.36 for every dollar it collects in revenue.   (by C. Cox)