Friday, March 11, 2011

Despite Uptick in Revenues, February's Federal Deficit Highest on Record as Late 2010 Political "Compromise" Adds Another Layer of Debt

The tax/stimulus "compromise" (compromise is code word when both the GOP and Dem's get what they want) in the waning days 2010, adding another $800B in debt in 2011 and 2012, helped to push February 2011 to the highest monthly deficit on record.  Quite impressive considering there were only 28 days.  This is part and parcel with the massive steroids (excluding what the Fed is doing) being injected into the U.S. economy nearly 2 years into "the recovery".

Keep in mind we have a $14 Trillion economy and until a few years ago, $400B was considered a record deficit.  Now we're reaching targets of $1.5T+ per annum - effectively pouring an extra $1.1T over and above what would previously be considered record deficits, into the economy.   That's about an 8% of GDP steroid injection.   Very few seem to mention these costs when discussing the economic figures being generated.   Eventually the tax piper will be paid by "someone" (who knows what generation with this band of misfits running the country) because even finding $100B in cuts turns into a circus.

Via AP:
  • The government ran the largest-ever budget deficit for a single month in February. The shortfall kept this year's annual deficit on pace to end as the biggest in U.S. history.  The widening deficit reflects the impact of the tax-cut package President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans brokered in December.
  • As a result, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in January raised its estimate for the annual deficit from $1.1 trillion to $1.5 trillion. It said the tax cuts would add $400 billion to this year's gap. The budget year ends Sept. 30.
  • The tax-cut package extended income tax cuts, reduced workers' Social Security taxes, extended unemployment benefits and accelerated business tax write-offs, among other steps.
  • The overall tax-cut package enacted in December has been estimated to cost $858 billion. The one-year Social Security tax cut reduces that tax for all wage earners, from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, on the first $106,800 in annual pay. Its estimated cost is $112 billion.
  • February's deficit of $222.5 billion eclipsed last February's record by nearly $2 billion. The full-year deficit would exceed 2009's record deficit of $1.41 trillion. And it would mark the third straight year of $1 trillion-plus deficits.
  • It's unusual for an economy to be running record-high deficits this far into a recovery. The recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009. The problem is that the financial crisis and the recession that followed fueled explosive deficit growth.
  • Republicans have pushed for more than $60 billion in spending cuts this year to help shrink the deficit.  Even if Republicans achieved their target for spending cuts this year, the 2011 deficit would still be on track to hit a record. 
  • Through the first five months of this budget year, government revenue totaled $869 billion. That was up 8.6 percent from the same period a year ago
  • Government spending totaled $1.51 trillion, a 4 percent increase.
  • One of the sharpest increases in government spending has been interest payments on the debt: $94.5 billion so far this budget year. That's up 9.3 percent from the same period a year ago. It reflects the growing size of the national debt from the annual deficits.

[Jan 27, 2011: Gallup Poll - Americans Want Federal Budget Cut... Just Don't Cut Anything that Affects Them Personally]
[Aug 26, 2009: US Federal Budget in Pictures]
[Aug 24, 2009: Cumulative Deficit Estimate for Next Decade Increased by $2 Trillion.... Since May
[Jun 12, 2009: NYT - America's Sea of Red Ink was Years in the Making]
[Mar 26, 2008: Annual Spring Entitlement Warning Falls on Deaf Ears]

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