News and Commentary

Federal Spending, Budget Deficit Hit New Records Last Quarter
U.S. President Donald Trump (C) speaks to members of the media as Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (L), and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) (R) look on after he arrived at a Senate Republican weekly policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol March 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. Congressional top Democrats have demanded Attorney General William Barr to release special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation report for the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal government spent a record amount of money in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 — last October through December — and chalked up a record spending deficit, leaving American taxpayers on the hook for more goods and services than ever before.

CNS News reports that Federal spending easily topped one trillion last quarter, with the U.S. government spending a whopping $1,163,090,000,000 — nearly $1.2 trillion — in the first quarter of 2020, besting its previous first quarter record, $1,115,081,800,000, by an astounding $48,008,200,000.

The Federal budget deficit grew significantly, too, putting the nation on track for its first trillion dollar budget deficit since the Obama Administration, according to Fox Business.

“The U.S. budget deficit through the first three months of this budget year is up 11.8 percent from the same period a year ago, putting the country on track to record its first $1 trillion deficit in eight years,” the outlet reported Monday. “In its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit from October through December totaled $356.6 billion, up from $318.9 billion for the same period last year.”

The pace of spending puts the United States on track to record its first trillion dollar budget deficit since the end of the “financial crisis” back in 2012, perhaps as early as this summer. It also marks another grim milestone: a future of trillion dollar deficits.

“The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the deficit for the current 2020 budget year will hit $1 trillion and will remain over $1 trillion for the next decade,” Fox Business reports.

There is some good news for President Donald Trump’s administration, however: as spending has grown, so has tax revenue. Thanks to some early interventions on the part of the Trump Administration, tax revenue also hit a record high in the first quarter of 2020, bringing in a staggering $806,512,000,000.

The government spent every penny of that (and then some), with the Department of Health and Human Services leading the way.

“The Department of Health and Human Services led all federal agencies by spending $309,340,000,000 in October through December,” CNS said, quoting a Treasury report released late last week. “The Social Security Administration was second with $285,056,000,000. The Defense Department was third with $187,348,000,000. Interest on Treasury securities was the fourth highest spending category with $160,187,000,000 in the October through December period.”

Republicans, who have long touted themselves as the party that cuts spending, may be hardest hit by this news. President Donald Trump, however, is not big on promising spending cuts, and often touts massive expansions of Federal programs — just different expansions than his Democrat opponents.

He is, though, big on paying down the national debt, and that’s part of the reason the U.S. government is spending so much (and why the budget deficit keeps expanding, even though the U.S. economy appears to be chugging along nicely. The Trump Administration is trying to tackle a shocking $23 trillion national debt piece by piece, and while that’s no easy task, they’ve at least managed to slow the rate of debt accumulation significantly, according to Business Insider, increasing the debt at a rate much slower than under President Barack Obama.

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