(Wall Street Journal) The U.S. government ran its 26th straight monthly budget deficit in November amid wrangling over a package that would extend big tax cuts to Americans trying to recover from recession.
The Treasury Department, in its regular budget monthly statement, said the government spent $150.4 billion than it collected in the second month of fiscal 2011.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a shortfall of $126.5 billion. November is traditionally a month for deficits.
Washington has spent in excess of $1 trillion during each of the last two fiscal years, as revenues were reduced by the deep recession. At the same time, the economic slump and Wall Street bailout raised the government's expenses.
The budget statement Friday said federal spending totaled $585.7 billion so far this fiscal year, with revenues at $294.9 billion. In the last two months, the federal government spent $128.3 billion on defense, $36.8 billion in interest payments on its debt, and $20.0 billion for unemployment benefits.
The U.S. budget deficit in fiscal 2010, at $1.294 trillion, was the second-highest ever, behind the record 2009 deficit of $1.416 trillion.