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Treasury: Federal gov't has spent record $3.7T, widened deficit

By Clyde Hughes
The U.S. Treasury said the federal deficit should increase beyond the $1 trillion mark by the end of fiscal 2019. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI
The U.S. Treasury said the federal deficit should increase beyond the $1 trillion mark by the end of fiscal 2019. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 14 (UPI) -- A new U.S. Treasury Department report says the federal government has spent a record $3.7 trillion so far this year -- the most it's used over the first 10 months of a U.S. fiscal year since the Great Recession.

The department projected that at the current pace, the deficit will reach $1 trillion in the final two months of fiscal 2019 -- up from the $867 billion where it stands now.

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The government has taken in revenues of $100 billion, but has spent $280 billion.

Some financial experts have blamed the increased spending on President Donald Trump's tax overhaul in 2017, but nearly all analysts say it's a result of recent bipartisan policies.

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"The ever-expanding deficit is a direct result of policy choices: the tax cuts passed by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans in 2017, followed by the spending increases called for in the bipartisan budget deals that followed," analyst Peter Suderman said.

The 2020 budget passed two weeks ago suspended the U.S. debt ceiling -- allowing it to borrow more -- and provided $1.4 trillion in discretionary spending.

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"The math here is about as basic as it gets. When you reduce tax revenues on the one hand and then increase spending on the other, you increase the deficit, which measures the gap between revenues (taxes) and outlays (spending)," Suderman added.

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Some analysts criticized lawmakers for approving the budget, contending that the United States cannot continue running trillion-dollar deficits.

"Revenue up 3 percent, spending up 8 percent equals [a] deficit of $897 billion in 10 months," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said. "DC doesn't care."

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