The federal budget deficit totaled $1.1 trillion for fiscal year 2012, according to the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office, comprising 7 percent of GDP.
This is the fourth year the budget deficit has exceeded $1 trillion under President Obama’s watch.
The issue of the deficit emerged as a point of discussion Wednesday night during the debate.
“I think it’s not just an economic issue. I think it’s a moral issue,” Mitt Romney said then. “I think it’s, frankly, not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in, knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation and they’re going to be paying the interest and the principal all their lives. And the amount of debt we’re adding, at a trillion a year, is simply not moral.”
Obama maintains that he inherited a broken economy, which he has improved gradually. The September jobs report released Friday has employment at 7.8 percent, the first time it has reached below 8 percent since the president took office.
“He promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term,” the Associated Press reports, “but deficits have instead remained at eye-popping levels, including a record $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009 and deficits of $1.3 trillion in each of the past two years. The 2012 deficit was 7 percent of the size of the economy, an unsustainably high level.”
The total deficit is $38 billion less than the CBO projected in their August Budget and Economic Outlook, likely due to less spending and higher revenue through the last two months of the fiscal year.
Revenues were up 6 percent higher in 2012 than in 2011, which partly explains the decrease in expected deficit.
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