First-quarter deficit was $293 billion, CBO says

The federal government ran up a $293 billion deficit in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, which ended Dec. 31, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated Tuesday. The government's fiscal year starts on Oct. 1st. 

At this pace, the deficit would be on pace to top $1 trillion for the fifth-straight year in 2013. All the trillion-dollar deficits have taken place under President Obama. 

By the White House’s own estimate, the New Year’s Eve tax deal with Congress will only reduce the deficit by $4 billion this year, once increased spending such as on unemployment benefits is taken into account. 

The first-quarter shortfall was $29 billion less than in the first three months of fiscal 2012, CBO said. 

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The improvement is due to increased tax revenue of $60 billion, an 11-percent increase.  Payroll taxes were up $44 billion and corporate income taxes were up $7 billion. 

The $909 billion in spending was basically unchanged from 2012 to 2013. As more and more Americans retire, Social Security spending was up $12 billion and Medicare was up $6 billion.