America on track for fifth straight year with deficit over $1 trillion

The U.S. budget deficit unexpectedly increased in November, to $172 billion for the month — pushing the country one step closer to the limit on government borrowing.

The Treasury said Wednesday the deficit last month was $22 billion more than the October mark and up from $137 billion in November 2011.

The numbers paint a gloomy picture of the country’s fiscal health and could complicate already delicate negotiations in Washington over tax rates and spending cuts with a deadline looming to to avert a fiscal crisis.

The Treasury said the unexpired jump was the result of a calendar quirk that pulled into November about $33 billion in benefits payments slated for December.

The new number could puts the country on pace to notch its fifth-straight annual deficit over $1 trillion. The government finished the 2012 budget year, which ends Sept. 30, with a deficit of $1.1 trillion.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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