Two months into fiscal 2021, the federal government has spent nearly twice as much money as it has taken in through revenue after posting a 14th consecutive month of deficit spending.
According to the Treasury Department spending data released Dec. 10, the federal government ran a $145 billion deficit in November, driven heavily by spending on Social Security benefits, health care and national defense. Combined with October’s $284 billion deficit, the federal government has spent $887 billion in fiscal 2021—nearly twice the $457 billion it has captured thus far through taxes and other forms of revenue.
The government’s deficit spending follows a record-breaking fiscal 2020, wherein agencies combined to spend a record $6.5 trillion, with a total deficit of $3.1 trillion. A sizable portion of spending in late fiscal 2020 was driven by spending on coronavirus relief packages and some decreases in collected revenue. Congress is currently considering another COVID-19 relief bill worth more than $900 billion.