The federal deficit jumped $92 billion in the first three months of fiscal 2019, up 41 percent from the same period in 2018, according to estimates published by the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday. The deficit, which totaled $317 billion for the first quarter, is now on pace to top $1 trillion for the year.
Some key data points:
- Factoring in payment timing shifts that reduced the deficit for the first three months of fiscal 2018, the deficit would have risen by $47 billion, or 21 percent.
- Receipts from October through December totaled $771 billion, up less than 1 percent. Corporate taxes fell by $9 billion, or 15 percent, and individual income and payroll taxes dropped by $1 billion, or less than 1 percent.
- Outlays jumped by $93 billion, or 9 percent.
- The cost of net interest on the public debt grew by $16 billion, or 19 percent, as a result of higher interest rates and a larger federal debt. Interest payments from October through December totaled $102 billion.
- Outlays for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid increased by $17 billion, or 3 percent.
The latest estimates “continued a trend from the final three quarters of 2018, after the tax cuts took effect,” says Jim Tankersley of The New York Times: “falling tax receipts, at a time of relatively strong economic growth — a combination that shows the tax cuts are achieving nothing close to the administration’s promise that they would pay for themselves.”