Federal tax receipts for the first ten months of the fiscal year hit a new record in July, according to the Congressional Budget Office, reaching a total of $2.679 trillion by the end of the month. The figure comes with a couple of caveats: It sounds slightly better after adjusting for inflation, but the deficit sounds worse.
Total revenue represented a slight increase over 2015, according to the agency's monthly budget review, when the feds took in $2.672 trillion over the same period. But the federal deficit for the ten month period was much larger than last year. The feds this time took in $514 billion less than they spent, compared to $466 billion in 2015.
Adjusting for inflation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the feds in the same period last year took in the equivalent of $2.717 trillion in 2016 dollars, while coming up short $473 billion.
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Auditors said on Friday that the problem is expected to get worse before the fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, ends in just under two months. Estimates at the beginning of the year projected the federal government would spend $3.9 trillion compared to $3.4 trillion in planned revenue, a difference of about $500 billion.
However, CBO analysts reported, the deficit is now expected to climb by at least $56 billion due to a decrease in expected revenue. That will bring the annual deficit closer to $600 billion, representing a vast increase over last year's total of $439 billion.
The growth in spending is attributable mainly to mandatory programs that include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the national debt. Taken together, the areas account for roughly two-thirds of annual federal spending.