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U.S. budget deficit for '09 hits $1.27 trillion, and climbing

August 12, 2009 |  3:45 pm

Although everyone knows that the U.S. is borrowing and spending at an unprecedented pace, the numbers are all the more stunning -- or frightening -- when you see them in the Treasury's detailed monthly statement of receipts and outlays.

The 33-page July statement, available here, shows the federal budget deficit ballooned to $1.27 trillion in the first 10 months of the government’s fiscal year (which ends Sept. 30), up 227% from the $388-billion deficit in the same period of fiscal 2008.

The government has spent $3.01 trillion so far this fiscal year, a jump of $524 billion, or 21%, compared with the first 10 months of fiscal 2008.

Capitol But that’s only half the problem. The other side is the plunge in taxes and other receipts amid the deep recession. Receipts through July totaled $1.74 trillion, down $354 billion, or 17%, from the same period in fiscal 2008.

Personal income tax payments have crashed to $750 billion this fiscal year, a drop of 20.5% from $944 billion in the comparable period of last year.

The drop in corporate income taxes has been far more dramatic, as the recession has slashed companies’ bottom lines. Total corporate tax receipts are down 58% this year, to $105 billion.

As for spending, the Treasury’s statement breaks down outlays for each of the 15 major federal departments, from Agriculture to Veterans Affairs.

Just one department -- Education -- is spending less this year than last year.

And spending by Congress itself is up 7.4% in fiscal '09, to $3.97 billion.

There’s no recession in Washington.

-- Tom Petruno

Photo: The Capitol. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press