Congrats, America! We’re on track to both spend more than $3 trillion and to rack up an over $1 trillion deficit for the FOURTH year in a ROW! Yes, we are that good. Sure, it took us 220-some odd years to break that record back in 2009, but since then it’s been nothing but spend, spend, spend.
Nine months into FY2012, the CBO reports that the federal government has run up a $905 billion deficit in just the first nine months, twice as high as any annual deficits prior to FY 2009. So far, we’ve spent a total of $2.705 trillion in the fiscal year, more than any year prior to FY 2007 – and that’s with three months left in the fiscal year. What really sets this accomplishment apart is that we’ve been able to keep up the pace of deficit spending (33.1% of all spending so far this year has been borrowed) even with more taxpayer funds flowing into the government coffers. The $1.824 trillion in taxes that have been collected so far are up 5.2% over the same time last year.
In June alone, spending was up $24 billion over the same period last year. Interestingly, one of the biggest drivers was your friend, and mine, TARP. Who could have ever foreseen that a program could cost more than anticipated?
TARP: Outlays rose by $62 billion, mainly because adjustments to the estimated costs of earlier transactions reduced outlays by $42 billion in 2011 and increased them by $21 billion in 2012.
As we continue to maintain record high spending and deficit levels year after year, one can only wonder – how much worse could it get next year? Luckily, Congress is looking at even more spending with an almost $1 trillion Farm Bill on the table, an army of new IRS agents to hire to enforce ObamaCare, and looming Social Security shortfalls, just to name a few budget busters on the horizon.
Unless real changes are made, and made quickly, I’m sure we’ll be able to beat these numbers next time around.