Federal Spending Sets Record Through November; Deficit Second-Highest Ever

By Terence P. Jeffrey | December 10, 2020 | 2:23pm EST
(Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The federal government spent a record $886,587,000,000 in the first two months of fiscal 2021 (October and November), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

At the same time, the federal government ran a deficit of $429,337,000,000, which is the second highest deficit the federal government has ever run in the first two months of a fiscal year.

The largest deficit the federal government has ever run in the first two months of a fiscal year came in fiscal 2009, when it ran a deficit of $491, 943,980,000 (in constant November 2020 dollars).

In October and November of this fiscal year, the federal government brought in $457,251,000,000 in total tax revenue and then spent its record $886,587,000,000—resulting in the $429,337,000,000 deficit.

The most money the federal government ever spent in the first two months of the fiscal year before its record spending this year was in fiscal 2009, when it spent $871,251,710,000 (in constant November 2020 dollars).

While it was spending a record amount of money in the first two months of this fiscal year, the federal government was collecting less in taxes than in the first two months of the last fiscal year. Total tax revenues declined from $476,234,610,000 in the first two months of fiscal 2020 to $457,251,000,000 in the first two months of this fiscal year. The $457,251,000,000 collected in the first two months of this fiscal year was the lowest (in constant November 2020 dollars) since fiscal 2017, when the Treasury collected $454,537,370,000 (in constant November 2020 dollars).

The Department of Health and Human Services spent the most money ($233,758,000,000) of any federal agency in the first two months of fiscal 2021. The Social Security Administration spent the second most ($195,074,000,000). The Department of Defense spent the third most ($128,059,000,000).

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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