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U.S. Posts $59.1B Budget Deficit in Nov.

December 19, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government registered a $59.1 billion budget deficit in November, the second month of the 2003 fiscal year, the Treasury Department said Thursday.

Although November’s deficit was 8.9 percent larger than the $54.3 billion in red ink posted for the same month a year earlier, it was in line with a projection made by the Congressional Budget Office.

The deficit posted in November of the 2003 budget year reflected spending of $179.1 billion and revenues of $120 billion.

For the entire 2002 budget year, which ended Sept. 30, the government ran up a deficit of $157.7 billion, Treasury said.

The 2002 budget deficit ended four straight years of surpluses and followed a $127 billion surplus __ the second biggest ever __ for fiscal 2001.

Both the White House and the CBO expect annual surpluses to return in a few years.

The Bush administration has blamed the return of deficits on last year’s recession and the costs of waging war in Afghanistan and battling terrorism at home. Democrats blame much of the red ink on President Bush’s $1.35 trillion, 10-year tax cut, which Congress enacted last year.

In the first two months of this 2003 fiscal year, the government is running a deficit of $113.1 billion. The same period a year ago registered a $61.9 billion deficit.

In November, the biggest spending categories were: Social Security, $44 billion; Health and Human Services Department programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, $42.4 billion; military, $31.3 billion; and interest on the public debt, $19.6 billion.

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On the Net: Treasury Department: http://www.ustreas.gov/

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