U.S. has $71 billion budget surplus in June

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government ran a monthly budget surplus in June, putting it on course to record the lowest annual deficit since 2008.

The Treasury Department said Friday that its June surplus totaled $71 billion, following a $130 billion deficit in May. The government also ran a surplus in June 2013, bolstered by dividends from Fannie Mae, the mortgage giant under federal conservatorship for the past six years.

For the first nine months of this budget year, the deficit totals $366 billion, down 28 percent from the same period in 2013. Tax receipts are up 8 percent compared to the prior year-to-date, while spending has increased 1 percent.

The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting a deficit of $492 billion for the full budget year ending Sept. 30. That would be the narrowest gap since 2008.

In 2008, the government recorded a deficit of $458.6 billion, which was the record high for deficits up to that time.

But with the outbreak of the recession, deficits soared to unprecedented levels, exceeding $1 trillion for four consecutive years. Tax revenues fell during that period, while government boosted spending in an attempt to stabilize the financial system and provide relief to people who had lost jobs.

The yearly deficit peaked at $1.4 trillion in 2009 during the worst of the financial crisis. It gradually fell from there, plunging to $680.2 billion last year.

Over the next decade, CBO is projecting that the deficits will total $7.6 trillion.

The deficit will fall to $469 billion in 2015 before rising again and topping $1 trillion annually starting in 2023, according to the CBO. Spending on the government’s major benefit programs, including Social Security and Medicare, will drive those increases as more baby boomers retire.

Republicans have accused President Barack Obama of failing to propose significant cost cuts to reduce soaring entitlement costs. Democrats counter that Republicans would rather impose sharp cuts on needed government programs than impose higher taxes on the wealthy.

Neither side is expected to make major concessions in this congressional election year. But the budget wars of the past three years have subsided at least for a brief time. An agreement was reached in December on the broad outlines for spending over the next two years. The agreement will allow Washington to avoid the gridlock that culminated in October’s 16-day partial shutdown of the government.

The budget cease-fire also includes legislation that will suspend the government’s borrowing limit through March 15 of next year. That puts off another battle over raising the debt ceiling until a new Congress takes office in January.

More in Herald Business Journal

The FCC chairman moves to repeal ‘net neutrality’ rules

His plan would allow internet providers to control broadband speeds and favor their own services.

Boeing bolsters team for potential 797 with leading engineer

Terry Beezhold has been chief project engineer for the 777X program.

Tom Hoban
Are millennials warming up to life in suburbia?

They dominate the apartment market and their wants need to be accounted for, says columnist Tom Hoban.

Camano artist mixes flask, paintings for successful cocktail

Art flasks prove popular as bachelorette gifts, birthday presents and wedding favors.

Uber reveals cover-up of hack affecting 57M riders, drivers

Uber acknowledges paying the hackers $100,000 to destroy the stolen information a year ago.

Fluke’s T6 Electrical Testers receives Innovation Awards honor

Fluke’s T6 Electrical Testers have received top honors in the Tools and… Continue reading

Everett volunteer named ‘community champion’ by Molina Healthcare

Everett’s Jorge Galindo was one of seven people across the state to… Continue reading

Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Experts say the campaign will not reach people when they are young and most likely to start smoking.

Cascade Valley Health to hold Festival of Trees in Arlington

Cascade Valley Health Foundation will be holding their fifth annual Festival of… Continue reading

Most Read