Economy

Tax Cuts Send Deficit Soaring in First Quarter

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

According to the United States Treasury Department, the federal deficit exploded during the first quarter of fiscal 2019 which began on October 1st.

When compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2018, the federal budget deficit increased by nearly 42 percent.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the budget deficit from October through December totals $318.9 billion, up from a deficit of $225 billion for the same three months in the previous year.

So far this budget year, tax revenue is up a tiny 0.2 percent, reflecting the impacts of the tax cuts passed in 2017. Spending is up 9.6 percent.

Anyone who remembers the Bush administration probably remembers what this looks like very well.

Republicans say Democrats like to "tax and spend," but no one spends taxpayer money on frivolous grift and lost causes quite like Republicans do. It's kind of their thing.

Higher budget deficits are not necessarily something anyone should lose sleep over, but Republicans are not running up the deficit for a worthwhile cause or even economic gain for the broader public. It's not as if they're running up the deficit to pay for an aggressive response to climate change or to dramatically expand public transportation. They're blowing the money on tax cuts for people who were already the richest people in the world before they received another tax cut.

I'm not going to stop talking about the GOP's tax cuts for the rich or the budget deficit because highlighting the irresponsibility will be necessary to support rolling back the tax cuts.

  • muselet

    Wow, who could have predicted this? Apart from everyone who has paid attention for the past forty years or so, that is.

    On a related note, I wonder who will be the first R to blame the rise in the deficit on entitlements! and taxandspend Democrats!, and propose cutting Social Security and Medicare.

    –alopecia

    • gescove

      The blame ship left port back in October. From the NYT 10/26/18 under the headline Republicans Look to Safety Net Programs as Deficit Balloons: “Senator Mitch McConnell… suggested this month that changes to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid were needed to tame the deficit.” As you say, who could’ve predicted?? Mitch McConnell, gravedigger of American democracy.

  • katanahamon

    That’s ok..future D prez can simply declare a national emergency. I’m seeing them because of healthcare, the environment, banking and corporate regulation, all sorts of stuff.

    • fry1laurie

      Once again, I don’t want to hear about any Democratic plans being rejected for being too expensive, or that the GOP are the exemplars of economic restraint. Drumpf is going to spend how many billion on a useless f-king wall, when children still go starving, schools still can’t pay for supplies, the roads are full of holes, prescription drug prices are too high, guns cost far too many lives, have I got time for thousands more?

      • katanahamon

        Rant on. It’s infuriating. President Obama couldn’t wear tan slacks without being called a dictator, yet this criminal can openly be racist and flout law and the constitution. I can’t wait for the justification behind calling the need for a wall an emergency when there are zero statistics supporting it. And how his supports suddenly don’t mind their taxes going for it. It’s all…bullshit!