Despite Trump’s campaign trail promises to eliminate America’s budget deficit, the end of 2019 saw it ballooning amid solid economic growth as Washington just continued to outspend itself.
In a recent monthly budget statement, the Treasury Department said that in November alone, the gap between federal expenditures and receipts grew to a whopping $209 billion.
Last year at this very same time, the deficit was $205 billion.
Since the beginning of the new fiscal year in October, the gap has widened by 12% and for the second month in a row, the 12-month deficit came in above $1 trillion.
Due to some calendar quirks that moved around some payment timings, receipts grew in that period by 3%. Outlays were up to $814 billion (rising 7%) thanks to healthcare and retirement programs.
Back when President Trump was just candidate Trump, he made some hefty promises to totally eliminate the deficit within 8 years. So far he is not on track to make that timeline.
Typically, lawmakers have a better shot at reducing the debt when the economy is solid overall, which it is. So what is happening?
The deficit has continued its climb especially in light of recent legislation which saw $1.5 trillion in tax cuts signed into law by President Trump in his first year in office alone.
Republicans initially thought that the lower taxes would boost the economy just enough to make up for any loss incurred in federal revenue but many have changed their tune.
Several key Republicans have since come forward to walk back their claim that the 2017 package would pay for itself.
In August, a bipartisan budget agreement was reached to lift the debt ceiling and increased spending by $320 billion.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated that at that rate, it will lead to a $1.7 trillion increase in expected debt levels over the next ten years.