A new estimate puts the deficit for the just-completed 2012 budget year at $1.1 trillion, the fourth straight year of trillion dollar deficits on President Barack Obama’s watch.
The result was a slight improvement from the 2011 deficit of $1.3 trillion.
The bleak figures from the Congressional Budget Office, while expected, add fodder for the heated presidential campaign, in which Obama’s handling of the economy and the budget is a main topic. Friday’s release came as the government announced that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent last month, matching the rate when Obama took office.
The administration will release the official deficit numbers around mid-October, but they should line up closely with the CBO estimate, which showed that the government borrowed 31 cents for every dollar it spent.
The CBO estimate predicts a modest 3 percent increase over 2011 in both income tax and payroll tax receipts, reflecting the sluggish economic recovery. Corporate income tax receipts are way up — almost 34 percent — but most of that is a result of tax rules governing write-offs of business equipment.
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