Wall Street Journal

U.S. Logs Monthly Budget Gap
The Wall Street Journal

The federal government spent more than it pocketed in July, logging its 10th straight month of deficits at a time of growing public concern over how the country will pay for an ambitious health-care overhaul and other priorities of the Obama administration.

The Treasury Department Wednesday said in its monthly budget statement that the government was $180.68 billion in the red during July, part because of the costs of a rescue package for financial firms and of the economic-stimulus plan, and reduced tax revenue from shriveled corporate profits. July 2008’s federal budget deficit was $102.77 billion.

For the first 10 months of fiscal 2009, the deficit widened to $1.267 trillion, more than triple the $388.62 billion for the same period in fiscal 2008. The White House has predicted the deficit would total $1.841 trillion this fiscal year ending Sept. 30, which would be a record. The biggest deficit for any fiscal year on record is $454.8 billion, rung up in fiscal 2008.

The string of 10 monthly deficits isn’t a record. There have been 11 monthly deficits in a row three times, the last time being May 1991 through March 1992. The widest deficit for any month is $193.86 billion, recorded in February this year.