March U.S. Federal Budget

The end of March marks the half way point for our government’s fiscal year which begins with October. According to the Treasury Department, Washington has certainly been trimming the fat. Bottom line, in March they spent just $106.5 billion more than was earned.

You might wonder at my characterization of this as a move toward prudent budgetary management, but consider that the shortfall in February posted $205.5 billion or that the expectation for March was more like $172.4 billion in overspending. Quite an improvement indeed. Shucks, that brings the total deficit for the year to date up to just $600.5 billion. Okay, I’ll admit that this pace annualizes our fiscal year creation of additional debt at a touch over $1 trillion for yet another year. Thank goodness the Federal Reserve had essentially promised to buy it all if need be. It certainly pays to own the printing press with an apparently unending supply of ink (red) courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

A combination of healthy tax receipts from both individuals and corporations added to cuts in defense spending, tightening the reins on spending in the month. In fact, the hole being dug this year is actually 23% shallower than last year’s was at this same time. Of course, all of this is off the cuff accounting since there has been no official budget in place here for years. I wonder how things will pencil out if our nation ever actually gets one passed. (by J R)