May deficit surges to $208 billion, 42% higher than last year
The federal deficit in May reached $208 billion, surging 42 percent over last May’s monthly deficit figure, according to new Treasury Department data released Wednesday.
The figure put the cumulative deficit for the eight months of fiscal 2019 at $739 billion, within range of the full 2018 deficit, which amounted to $779 billion, according to the Treasury figures. Treasury estimates that the full deficit will exceed $1 trillion by the time the fiscal year wraps up at the end of September.
The deficit’s precipitous rise follows the 2017 GOP tax act, which the Congressional Budget Office projected would add some $1.9 trillion to the debt over a decade, as well as bipartisan plans to increase spending on both the defense and domestic sides of the ledger.
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Wednesday’s figures showed individual income taxes roughly on par with where they were at the same time last year, while corporate income taxes were down some $10 billion. Customs duties were up some $20 billion, as new tariffs have taken effect.
Spending, in the meantime, rose some $250 billion in comparison with the same period last year, largely in the categories of Social Security and health.