$521,769,000,000: Federal Spending Sets Record for First Month of Fiscal Year

By Terence P. Jeffrey | November 12, 2020 | 6:06pm EST
(Photo by Brendan Smialowsk/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by Brendan Smialowsk/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The federal government set an all-time record for the amount of money it spent in the first month of a fiscal year, when it spent $521,769,000,000 in October, the first month of fiscal 2021, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

Before this year, the most the federal government had ever spent in the first month of a fiscal year was in October 2009, when it spent $483,357,690,000 in constant October 2020 dollars.

This October’s record of $521,769,000,000 was $38,411,310,000—or 8 percent—more than that.

At the same time that it was spending that record $521,769,000,000, the federal government brought in $237,698,000,000 in total tax revenue. That was the lowest October total tax revenue (in constant October 2020 dollars) in five years.

The gap between the record federal spending in October and the reduced tax revenue resulted in a deficit of $284,071,000,000 for the first month of fiscal 2021.

That is the second largest deficit the federal government has ever recorded in the first month of a fiscal year. The largest-ever deficit in the first month of a fiscal year came in October 2008, when the deficit hit $285,160,410,000 in constant October 2020 dollars.

The Department of Health and Human Services led all federal department and agencies in spending in October by spending $157,909,000,000. The Social Security Administration ranked second for spending during month with outlays of $102,355,000,000.

The Department of Defense ranked third with $76,530,000,000 in spending.

The combined $260,264,000,000 that HHS and the Social Security Administration spent during the month was more than the $237,698,000,000 in total taxes the federal government collected during the month.

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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