The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated on Friday that the federal budget deficit reached $383 billion in the past two months.
The nonpartisan budget scorekeeper estimated that the government racked up a deficit of $317 billion in November, which is $68 billion higher than the deficit recorded during the same period last year and $250 billion higher than the deficit reported by the Treasury Department in October.
While the office estimated revenues seen in October and November marked a 19 percent increase from the same period in 2022, the CBO said the two-month deficit this year was still $47 billion higher as outlays increased by 17 percent.
The CBO pointed to two areas where it noted spending had “increased substantially” in its estimate.
The first entailed a $63 billion increase in outlays for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a top bank regulator, that it credited to “facilitating the resolution of bank failures that occurred in 2023.”
“The FDIC expects to recover much of that amount by continuing to liquidate the banks’ assets and by collecting higher premiums from FDIC-insured institutions over the next several years,” the CBO said.
The agency also highlighted a 65 percent increase in net outlays for interest on the public debt from the previous year, which it noted was largely due to interest rates being “significantly higher than they were” during the two-month period last year.
Spending on Social Security benefits increased by 12 percent, while outlays for Medicare and Medicaid increased by 17 percent and one percent, respectively.
The CBO also noted an 18 percent increase in spending for the Department of Veterans Affairs “mostly because of increased spending per person and veterans’ increased use of health care facilities,” as well as a $5 billion bump in spending for the Energy Department, which is said was “primarily because last year the administration sold a substantial amount of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”
The CBO estimate also detailed a 13 percent increase in spending for the Defense Department, saying “the largest increases were for military personnel and for operation and maintenance.”
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