With all the talk of a desperately needed stimulus from the federal government one would think that the feds aren’t spending enough money, that perhaps the budget is balanced.
Alas, that is not the case. Looking back over the past 4 months, all bush legacy, it is clear that the federal government is spending at a rate dramatically higher than what they are taking in. From WSJ.com:
The Senate passed its $838 billion stimulus legislation today, setting the stage for negotiation with the House to draw up a final package. While they debate, the government appears to be losing a couple billion dollars a day in tax revenue.
With a deep economic contraction underway, federal tax revenue declined by about $88 billion — roughly 10% — in the first four months of the fiscal year (which started Oct. 1) compared to the year-earlier period, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis. Almost half the decline — $43 billion — came from a 43% drop in corporate profit taxes. Tax withholding from paychecks declined $19 billion due to lost jobs, while estimated tax payments declined by $12 billion.
In all, the CBO estimates the Treasury Department will report a deficit of $563 billion over the four-month period, or $474 billion higher than the four-month deficit through January 2008. Even remove the $284 billion in outlays for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and that’s $190 billion in higher spending or lower taxes so far this fiscal year.
At the rate of the past 4 months the deficit will be $1.68 trillion over the next 12 months.
Just why do we need the paltry additional $838 billion of deficit spending?