Trump’s First Annual Budget Deficit Rises to a Six-Year High

Trump’s First Annual Budget Deficit Rises to a Six-Year High

The U.S. government's budget deficit hit $779 billion in the fiscal year that ended September 30, while spending increased and tax revenues remained almost flat, the Treasury said Monday. In fiscal year 2018, which ended on September 30, overall spending increased by 3%, or $127 billion. The statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin showed the 2018 deficit amounted to 3.9 percent of the country's more than $18 trillion annual economy, up from 3.5 percent previous year.

The total federal debt - which combines annual deficits - was 78 percent of the nation's entire gross domestic product in June.

Why are budget deficits rising?

The only other period when the federal government has run deficits above $1 trillion was for four years from 2009 through 2011.

"Going forward, President Trump and this administration will continue to work with Congress to make the hard choices needed to bring fiscal restraint, which, when matched with increasing revenue, will reduce our deficit", he said.

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The budget deficit has continued to climb in recent years, raising concerns the country's debt load of more than $21.5 trillion will grow out of control. Typically, strong economic growth translates into lower deficits as the government collects more from taxpayers.

Economic boom times are expected to be paired with low deficits, as economic growth leads to higher tax revenues and household incomes. The CBO said that this deficit increase "would arise because spending would grow steadily under current law, and revenues would not keep pace with that spending growth". At the time, the administration had projected that the budget deficit would hit $890 billion.

"By cutting taxes in 2017 when the economy was already quite strong, Congress and the administration not only missed a golden opportunity to begin to address the fiscal problem, they actually made the problem worse", he said.

"America's booming economy will create increased government revenues - an important step toward long-term fiscal sustainability", Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement accompanying the data.

"President Trump prioritized making a significant investment in America's military after years of reductions in military spending undermined our preparedness and national security", Mnuchin said. More importantly, most estimates suggest that the deficit will worsen as spending on Social Security, Medicare and other programs increase with the aging baby boomer population.

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