The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, June 24, 2003  

Either That, Or Someone’s Numbers Need Updating

CBS MarketWatch late last week reported:

The United States had a May budget deficit of $90.5 billion compared to [sic] a[n] $80.6 billion shortfall in the same month last year, the Treasury Department said Thursday. The results were in line with forecasts.

Year to date, the United States is running a deficit of just over $292 billion compared to [sic] $145.4 billion through the same timespan [sic] last year. The Bush administration is predicting a record $304.2 billion shortfall for all of fiscal 2003 and a slightly larger deficit in the next fiscal year.

Hmm. If the federal deficit is running at $292 billion fiscal-year-to-date, i.e., through May 31, then for the Bush administration’s “projection” to hold, the Treasury can run a deficit of only $12.2 billion between now and the end of the fiscal year.

The problem with that, of course, is that the federal government’s fiscal year ends September 30, meaning we have only four months of receipts and disbursements to work with in order to meet the Bush administration’s target.

Any takers?

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