October deficit down 20 percent from last year

On the heels of a preliminary report to reduce federal spending and debt, the Treasury Department reported a $140.4 billion budget deficit in October on Wednesday. 

The deficit last month was 20 percent lower than the same time a year ago but is the third highest October imbalance on record, down $35.9 billion from that high, Treasury announced Wednesday. 

The highest October deficit, the first month of the new fiscal year, was $176.4 billion in October 2009.

Despite the decrease, fiscal 2011 could likely be the third straight year where deficits top $1 trillion. 

Today's preliminary report from the fiscal commission would trim $4 trillion between 2012 and 2020 through spending reductions throughout the budget, changes to the tax code and reforms to entitlement spending.