Budget deficit up almost 12 percent compared to last year

Budget deficit up almost 12 percent compared to last year

The U.S. budget deficit in the first three months of fiscal 2020 is up 11.8 percent compared to the same period in the previous year, the Treasury Department reported Monday.

The deficit was $356.6 billion from October through December. In the first three months of fiscal 2019, the deficit was $318.9 billion, according to Treasury.

In December, the U.S. posted a deficit of $13.3 billion, which is slightly smaller than the $13.5 billion deficit posted in December 2018.

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While both revenue and spending have increased in the first three months of fiscal 2020, spending has gone up at a faster rate.

Treasury has estimated that the deficit will exceed $1 trillion in fiscal 2020. The only other years when the U.S. has posted a budget deficit exceeding $1 trillion came in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Deficits have gone up during President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE's administration, following passage of his 2017 tax-cut law as well as bipartisan agreements to increase spending on defense and domestic programs.

“It makes no sense that we are continuing to pile on debt in a growing economy," said Michael Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation, a group dedicated to tackling the U.S.'s long-term fiscal challenges. "This is the time when we are supposed to be preparing for the future. Managing our debt is essential to making sure we have the ongoing resources to address our greatest challenges, from infrastructure to climate to national security.

“As we enter a new year and the election campaign gains steam, lawmakers have another chance to level with the American people and address this fundamental threat to our collective future," he continued. "We owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave them with a strong fiscal foundation and healthy economy — not more debt.”