CBO: Deficit at $975B, on pace to top $1T mark for fiscal 2012

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Tuesday estimated that the federal budget deficit stands at $975 billion through July.

This guarantees that the deficit for fiscal 2012, which ends Sept. 30, will be above $1 trillion.

The deficit under each year of the Obama administration will have exceeded $1 trillion, after coming to $459 billion in 2008.


The deficit through the first 10 months of 2011 came to $1.1 trillion, $125 billion more than through the first 10 months of this year. 

CBO reported that despite the budget battles between President Obama and Congress, spending is virtually identical this year to spending in 2011. Through July, the government spent $2.98 trillion, just $11 billion less than in 2011.

Revenues are up 6 percent this year compared to last year, accounting for most of the $125 billion difference.

The $114 billion in higher revenue came in part from higher corporate tax receipts due to a change in rules for how firms treat investments in equipment for tax purposes. Wage growth accounted for $28 billion in revenue.

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign has made Obama's deficit streak a central campaign issue. Romney has argued that Obama's $800 billion stimulus package of 2009, which raised the deficit to $1.4 trillion that year, and refusal to enact deep spending cuts in the years since has put a cloud of uncertainty over the economy. 

Last week, the government reported that the economy added 139,000 jobs, but unemployment crept upward to 8.3 percent.

The Obama campaign has countered that the Bush administration turned Clinton-era budget surpluses into deficits by enacting unsustainable tax cuts for the wealthy and by launching the Iraq war without paying for it. They have also argued that Obama inherited the worst financial crisis since the Depression, and without the stimulus, the jobs figures would be much worse.

This story was updated at 2:32 p.m.