Bud­get deficit hits $172 bil­lion

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Deficit

deficit.

The bud­get gap rose to $172 bil­lion in Novem­ber, up from $120 bil­lion in Oc­to­ber, the Trea­sury De­part­ment said Wed­nes­day. The Novem­ber deficit was also 25 per­cent higher than the same month last year. Last month’s deficit was pushed higher by a cal­en­dar quirk that pulled about $33 bil­lion in ben­e­fits pay­ments into Novem­ber from De­cem­ber.

The government fin­ished the 2012 bud­get year with a deficit of $1.1 tril­lion. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Congress are un­der pres­sure to curb the deficit as part of a bud­get deal to pre­vent tax in­creases and deep spend­ing cuts from kick­ing in Jan. 1.

With the econ­omy and hir­ing im­prov­ing a bit, the government is re­ceiv­ing more tax re­ceipts. Over­all tax rev­enue rose 10 per­cent in the first two months of the bud­get year to $346 bil­lion. But spend­ing has risen faster, up $87 bil­lion or 16 per­cent.

The deficit, in sim­plest terms, is the amount of money the government has to bor­row when rev­enues fall short of ex­penses. Last year’s deficit was lower than the pre­vi­ous year but still painfully high by his­tor­i­cal stan­dards. The

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