BCN-05 US budget deficit hits record in February





US budget deficit hits record in February

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – The US budget deficit hit a record in February amid a large decline in corporate tax receipts, according to the Treasury Department’s monthly report.

The deficit last month jumped nine percent or $19 billion to $234 billion compared to February 2018, as gross corporate taxes fell 13 percent, Treasury reported.

So far in the fiscal year, which began October 1, the deficit is nearly 40 percent higher than in the same five month period of the prior year, at $544 billion.

President Donald Trump has strenuously defended the massive corporate tax cuts approved in December 2017, saying they would boost growth, but Treasury said corporate tax collection had fallen 23 percent so far this fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Trump’s trade wars and aggressive tariff policies mean the government has collected 91 percent more customs duties compared to a year earlier.