The U.S. budget deficit amounted to $138.5 billion in November 2017, according to U.S. federal budget deficit 2017 data. The Treasury Department has reported that it reflects higher spending to deal with disaster relief and interest payments on the national debt. This may eventually affect U.S. Social Security funds and in turn lead to a U.S. debt crisis. Private forecasters are of the opinion that the increased government spending and tax cuts are likely to raise this year’s deficit to $675.0 billion and could approach $1.0 trillion by 2019, which may lead to a U.S. budget crisis.
Budget Deficit in November Increased by 1.4% Year-Over-Year
The Treasury Department reported the October deficit for 2017 as $63.2 billion. That’s 37.9 % higher than the $45.8-billion deficit recorded in October 2016. Both government receipts and spending were high for this month; receipts climbed to $235.3 billion, which was an October record, while spending rose to $298.6 billion.
The U.S. budget deficit for November 2017 is $138.5 billion, compared to $137.0 billion the year prior, according to the Treasury Department. The current value of the deficit is 1.4% higher from a year ago. Also, for the first two months of this budget year, the budget deficit total was $201.8 billion. This value is about 10.6% higher from the same period a year ago. The receipts totaled $208.3 billion, while the spending pushed total outlays to $346.9 billion, which was a record for the month of November.
Disaster Relief Spending and Interest on U.S. National Debt Led to Budget Deficit
The total deficit for the 2017 fiscal year is $666.0 billion; this value is $80.0 billion higher from the previous year. Moreover, disaster relief costs are approaching $100.0 billion. Recently, the White House asked Congress for $44.0 billion for additional hurricane relief spending in response to this year’s devastating hurricanes and wildfires. It has also asked for $12.0 billion for flood mitigation projects, $4.6 billion for damaged federal property repair, and $1.0 billion for emergency agricultural assistance.
Congress gave approval for one disaster measure in September and another in October. If the newly requested funding was provided by the lawmakers, the tab for spending approved by Congress in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and also the California wildfire spending, would amount to about $96.0 billion.
A rise in interest rates on the U.S.’ national debt for 2017 is also leading to a budget deficit. A sharp drop in U.S. national interest rates over the last two decades brought major savings in the government’s cost of borrowing. As the rates rise, the cost of the interest on that debt will also increase. The budget watchdog group warned in its report that as the U.S. debt payment continues to grow, and should interest rates return to normal, interest spending is slated to be the fastest-growing part of the budget. Also, the interest payments could raise quickly if the incoming Trump administration follows campaign promises to cut taxes and increase spending on infrastructure, which is estimated to cost $6.0 trillion over a decade. These new spending would boost the interest cost by $2.5 trillion over a decade.
Disasters are unpredictable, but the spending can be controlled by the proper management of funds. The U.S. budget deficit in November 2017 was due to the increase in spending on disaster relief and national debt. Coming years may bring savings to hand or may lead to a deficit if not well managed at all times.
“U.S. budget deficit totals $138.5 billion in November,” ABC News, December 12, 2017.
“Interest payments could become one of the federal govt’s biggest line items,” CNBC, December 19, 2016.
“U.S. budget deficit up sharply in October,” CBS News, November 13, 2017.
“White House requests $44 billion in disaster relief for victims of hurricanes, wildfires,” USA Today November 17, 2017.
“U.S. government posts $139 billion deficit in November,” Reuters, December 13, 2017.
“White House Requests More Disaster Aid but Also Seeks Cuts as Deficits Rise,” The New York Times, November 17, 2017.