US racks up $231B deficit in two months

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated Friday that the budget deficit for the first two months of the fiscal year was $231 billion, down $61 billion from last year.
 
The scorekeeper said the gap has declined due to increased tax revenue and lower spending in fiscal year 2014.  
 
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Individual tax receipts increased 10 percent, partly because of the expiration in January of a 2-percentage-point payroll tax holiday and increased tax rates on those making more than $400,000 per year.
 
The declining deficit also reflects a 5 percent decrease in spending, in part due to the automatic spending cuts from sequestration. 
 
The first two months of the year saw $10 billion less in defense spending and $2 billion less in unemployment benefits spending, for example. There was less spending on disaster aid as well.

For November alone, the CBO estimates a decline in the deficit from $172 billion in 2013 to $140 billion this year.  
 
The CBO report comes as lawmakers are looking to reverse $30 billion to $45 billion in sequester cuts slated for 2014 by replacing them with cuts to entitlements like federal worker retirement benefits.