After a budget surplus in April, the deficit numbers went south for the federal government in May, as the Treasury Department reported Wednesday that Uncle Sam ran a deficit of $207 billion last month, pushing the overall deficit in 2019 to $738.6 billion, over $200 billion higher than the same point a year ago.
While some of the increase was due to a shift in the timing of certain federal government payments which made the monthly shortfall larger, the Trump Administration is still forecasting a yearly deficit of almost $1.1 trillion for 2019, up from $779 billion for all of 2018.
Revenues are up $50 billion so far this year, with $20 billion of that increase coming from the collection of extra tariffs levied by the Trump Administration; individual income tax receipts are up, while corporate tax collections are down.
Spending is up by $257 billion so far in 2019, with the main increases coming in Social Security, Medicare, the VA, Defense and interest on the debt.
So far in 2019, $269 billion has gone to pay interest on the debt, as higher interest rates have increased that figure even more in 2019, costing the feds $40 billion in May alone, as the national debt is now over $22 trillion.
The announcement of the latest monthly deficit numbers was greeted with almost total silence from Capitol Hill, where concern about the fiscal situation of the United States has seemingly evaporated in the last two years, especially among many GOP lawmakers.
"Congress can and should do better for the American people, and this is a necessary first step to reining in our $22 trillion national debt," said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who has been a lonely voice among Republicans in demanding budget cuts and changes in the budget process in Congress.
Perdue unveiled legislation on Tuesday to reform how lawmakers deal with the budget, focusing on ways to make the Congressional budget process actually function.
Perdue's plan involves changing the federal government's fiscal year to match the regular calendar year, and penalizing lawmakers by docking their pay if they can't finish their work on the yearly spending bills by December 31 of each year.
Here are the federal deficits for the last ten years, including the estimated deficit for Fiscal Year 2019, which ends on September 30:
2009 - $1.41 trillion
2010 - $1.29 trillion
2011 - $1.299 trillion
2012 - $1.076 trillion
2013 - $679.8 billion
2014 - $484.8 billion
2015 - $441.9 billion
2016 - $584.6 billion
2017 - $665.4 billion
2018 - $779.1 billion
2019 - $1.091 trillion (estimated)
The current projection from the Trump Administration is for four straight years of deficits over $1 trillion, equaling the record set under President Obama.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.