Not much has changed……
The federal government spent $347,578,000,000 in October (the first month of fiscal 2016), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Thursday afternoon.
At the same time, the government brought in $211,046,000,000 in revenue for the month and ran a deficit of $136,532,000,000.
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that there were 149,120,000 people in the United States in October who held either a full- or part-time job, that means the $347,578,000,000 in federal spending for the month equaled about $2,331 for every person with a job.
The $211,046,000,000 in federal tax revenues equaled about $1,415 for every person with a job.
The $136,532,000,000 deficit equaled about $916 for every person with a job.
While real federal spending increased this October over last October ($347,578,000,000 compared to $336,139,930,000 in constant 2015 dollars), real federal tax revenues declined ($211,046,000,000 this October compared to $213,805,350,000 last October).
This was the first time since 2009 that the federal government’s inflation-adjusted revenue stream for October declined from the previous year. In October 2008 (the first month of fiscal 2009), federal tax revenues were $182,182,870,000 (when converted to constant 2015 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator). In October 2009, federal tax revenues declined to $150,093,550,000 in 2015 dollars.
But then in October 2010, they climbed to $159,263,270,000 in 2015 dollars; in October 2011, they climbed to $172,500,840,000; in October 2012 to $191,020,110,000; in October 2013 to $203,186,360,000; and in October 2014 to $213,805,350,000.
This October was the second-most expensive October in the history of the federal government.
The $347,578,000,000 the Treasury spent during the 31 days of October 2015 was second only to the $354,070,050,000 (in constant 2015 dollars) the Treasury spent in the 31 days of October 2008 (the first month of fiscal 2009).
Federal expenses were driven up in October 2008 at least in part because that month saw the beginning of the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s bailout of financial institutions. A year later, the October 2009 Monthly Treasury Statement reported that in October 2008 the Treasury had spent $320,378,000,000, including $33,349,000,000 in TARP outlays (Table 5).
The $320,378,000,000 the Treasury spent in October 2008 equals $354,070,050,000 in 2015 dollars—or $6,492,050,000 more than the $347,578,000,000 the Treasury spent this October.