For anyone still harboring hopes that massive tax cuts pay for themselves, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has some bad news. The CBO said Tuesday that the federal deficit hit $895 billion in the first 11 months of fiscal 2018, an increase of $222 billion, or 32 percent, over the same period of 2017. The tax cuts Republicans pushed through in December plus spending increases pushed government outlays up about 7 percent while revenue grew by 1 percent, the CBO said. The government took in about $105 billion more in individual and payroll taxes but $71 billion less in corporate taxes. Spending on interest on the public debt increased by $55 billion, or 19 percent.
In April, the CBO had projected that the deficit would reach $804 billion by the end of fiscal 2018, at the end of September, and surpass $1 trillion by 2020 — which pushed up the CBO's previous projection for hitting $1 trillion by two years. Now, the deficit will near $1 trillion by the end of fiscal 2018 and almost certainly top it by the end of the calendar year. Peter Weber