River of red ink continues to flow from Washington
Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the White House both predicted in separate reports that taxpayers could expect to see $1+ trillion budget deficit for the fourth consecutive year. Even though it’s to be expected that we’re going to see yet more red ink this year, the latest numbers from the CBO on the first half of the fiscal year are still astounding (emphasis mine):
The federal government racked up a deficit of $777 billion in the first half of fiscal 2012, the Congressional Budget Office said in an estimate released Friday.
The shortfall is the latest sign that the government is well on its way to compiling at least a $1 trillion deficit for the fourth consecutive year.
But as CBO noted on Friday, the deficit is also a $53 billion reduction from the same period in fiscal 2011.
The budget scorekeeper said that most of the $46 billion jump in revenues — a 4.5 percent increase — was due to corporations making higher tax payments or receiving a smaller refund.
CBO also said that spending in a variety of areas — Medicaid, education and unemployment insurance, among others — also fell during the first six months of the fiscal year.
The budget office’s release comes as budget deficits are poised to play a key role in this year’s election, and weeks after CBO estimated that the 2012 deficit would be roughly $1.2 trillion.
The 2012 deficit is now expected to be some $93 billion higher than earlier expected, in large part because of the extension of the payroll tax cut for workers.
Higher tax receipts from businesses usually mean that the economy is improving. That coupled with government paying out less in unemployment is the “good” news we can take from this. However, Washington is continuing to spend at an alarming rate, building up deficits that will fall on the backs of our children and grandchildren. And while President Barack Obama has firmly stated that he opposes Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, he continues to offer nothing to bring the United States back on a sustainable fiscal path.