Deficit Trade

The Deficit Explodes Even While Americans Pay Record Tariffs

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The deficit increased by nearly 30 percent in July of this year compared to July of last year according to the Treasury Department, totaling almost $200 billion more than the previous year.

The Treasury Department is also projecting that the deficit will top $1 trillion by the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.

Total outlays increased by 22.8% over last July as receipts grew 11.6%. For the year, receipts were up 3% in the October to July period, totaling $2.86 trillion, while expenditures were at $3.73 trillion, an 8% rise.

That brings the fiscal year deficit through July to $866.8 billion, a little over a year and a half after the Trump administration ushered through a $1.5 trillion tax cut that the White House has vowed would pay for itself. At this point last year, the deficit was $684 billion.

There are two months left in this fiscal year, and the Treasury Department is projecting a deficit of just over $1 trillion.

While the deficit is exploding under Trump, so is the amount of tariffs that American businesses and consumers are paying for.

The Treasury Department also expects tariffs collected by the government will total at least $81 billion for the year; a record amount.

Tariffs accounted for $6.5 billion in revenue in July, totaling almost $57 billion for 2019, over $24 billion more than the same point in 2018.

And that figure will only grow, as the feds predict another $24 billion in import duties will be collected from U.S. companies in just the next two months - prompting hundreds of requests to the Trump Administration for tariff relief.

In other words, the federal deficit would actually be closer to $1.1 trillion for the year if not for Trump's trade war and the stealth taxes (tariffs) he has imposed on American companies and consumers.

Trump's tariffs are partially masking just how gruesomely Republicans have mutilated the federal budget through "fiscal responsibility," or whatever.

We can expect that Republicans will pretend to care about the deficit again as soon as Trump is out of office.

  • muselet

    “You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.” –Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney (to Paul O’Neill, 2002)

    The only time Rs ever pretend to care about deficits and debt and budgets is when Ds are in power, and the only reason they pretend to care then is because the Ds aren’t committed to shoveling upward as much wealth as humanly possible.

    Real economists must turn around and spit three times whenever Arthur Laffer’s name is mentioned.


  • Draxiar

    If trump debates the Democratic nominee the nominee should tell trump to explain the tax cuts, the tariffs, and national debt. Maybe better yet just toss out factual bombs about how trump doesn’t understand any of it and everything he’s signed has made life demonstrably worse for 80% of the population.