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Fiscal Responsibility
September 12, 2018

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

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