President Donald Trump has insisted that he’s working wonders for the economy of the United States, but the numbers continue to tell a different, more nuanced story. The federal deficit keeps growing and growing, with the pace of government spending ahead of government revenue hardly slowing under the supposedly fiscally messianic president.
The Congressional Budget Office has now revealed that in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2018, the federal deficit spiked by over 30 percent. That spike was pushed along by the timing of certain payments changing and moving to earlier in the year, but even with that considered, the fact that government spending is still far outpacing government revenue isn’t erased.
In the first 11 months of fiscal year 2018, the government spent $895 billion more than it took in, compared to the $673 billion it spent above its revenues in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2017. Revenue, in those 11 months, went up by only one percent, but spending went up by seven percent — and with the payments whose timing was changed subtracted from the equation, that spending increase is still 4.7 percent. That increase, for the record, is higher than the four percent increase in government spending recorded in the first ten months of fiscal year 2018 — in other words, the Trump administration is steaming full speed ahead with its deficit-exploding policies.
The changes to government revenue are driven in large part by the tax plan that the president signed into law late last year in the first major legislative accomplishment of his administration. Throughout the first 11 months of fiscal year 2018, collected corporate income tax fell by a whopping 30 percent. Meanwhile, income tax withheld from paychecks for individuals in the U.S. rose by around one percent, and tax payments that individuals handed in on their own time outside of their paychecks rose by about 16 percent.
If you needed a set of numbers to see who benefits the most from the Trump administration’s policy platform, there you go.
It’s hardly the only indicator to that effect. The Trump administration has pushed swaths of American industry and agriculture to the edge of a metaphorical cliff via means including their harsh tariffs targeting not just adversaries but allies. Huge amounts of orders for American products like soybeans have been cancelled and countries have imposed harsh retaliatory tariffs — and that’s not even including the effects on American industrial interests that rely on foreign steel and aluminum that have been wrought by the initial tariffs themselves.
Trump’s also holding the American economy over the edge of a cliff via protracted negotiations over the future of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The administration managed to strike a deal with Mexico, but they haven’t yet struck a deal with Canada, the other party to the agreement. As the negotiations drag on, Trump has continued on with his antagonism, asserting, for instance, that he will make no concessions to Canada at all — although, to be sure, he’s not the one actually at the negotiating table.
Meanwhile — as the CBO indicates — the U.S. economy keeps struggling along under the weight of the president’s belligerence.
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