Year-Over-Year Deficit Worsens in October, and the Problem Is Spending, Not Receipts

The government's October 2012 Monthly Treasury Statement was released at 2 p.m. It tells us that the government took in $184 billion ($21 billion more than last year) while spending $304 billion ($43 billion more), leaving a $120 billion deficit. That's 22% higher than the October 2011 shortfall of $98.5 billion.

The early report from the Associated Press's Martin Crustinger predictably tells us that discussions over changing this ongoing situation and addressing the "fiscal cliff" involve how "to prevent tax increases and deep spending cuts from kicking in Jan. 1." "Deep"? October 2012 spending annualizes out to $3.65 trillion, which if continued, as seen in comparison to figures for the past five years which follow, would be an all-time record.

Here's the early AP report (produced in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):


If Crutsinger and the AP follow previous form, they won't mention the level of spending, but will highlight that collections increased.

As to the historic level of spending, here's a table the Wall Street Journal produced to support a Monday editorial:




As seen, spending was less than $3 trillion in 2008. Annualized, October 2012 spending represents a 22% increase from that year. As the Journal's editorial noted: "The 'emergency' spending of the stimulus has now become permanent, as we predicted it would."

Meanwhile, if form holds, tax receipts might actually return to a level last seen in 2007 if Congress decides to leave current tax rates as they are instead of letting the "fiscal cliff" tax hikes take effect.

Yet the press and Democrats (basically one and the same) call any reductions which threaten to reduce the new artificial spending baseline "deep" cuts. No, they're not. They would be part of a return to sustainable sanity.

Cross-posted at

Congress Economy Budget Business Coverage Stimulus Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Labeling Wire Services/Media Companies Associated Press Martin Crutsinger