No matter what happens with the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, America is almost certainly headed for a fifth consecutive year with a budget deficit over $1 trillion.
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.
Remember, this is happening under a President who pledged, while campaigning for his first term in 2008, to cut the budget deficit in half in his first term. If he’d followed through on that, we should be at a $500 billion budget deficit (or about a $200 billion deficit, assuming he was talking about the last Bush-era deficit of around $400 billion).
He hasn’t, instead engaging in an aggressive round of spending increases in the name of “stimulus” and green energy “investment,” among other things. Spending is up more than 27% over the last Bush-era budget in 2008, and nearly 8% from Obama’s first budget.
Tax revenues, meanwhile, have actually been growing since 2009 when they hit bottom after the housing market meltdown:
So how do we maintain a $1 trillion budget deficit even though tax revenues have been growing? Spending is growing even faster.
Spending is our problem. Not taxes. Spending cuts will fix our deficit problem, not tax hikes. Especially not with Obama’s rich cronies hiding their money from tax increases.