This Year's Deficit Will Probably Be the Smallest Since 2008

Government Printing Office employees work on copies of President Barack Obama's fiscal 2013 budget book Government Printing Office employees work on copies of President Barack Obama's fiscal 2013 budget book Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The federal government ran a $71 billion surplus in June, putting the country on track for the lowest deficit since 2008, according to The Associated Press. For the first nine months of fiscal year 2014 the deficit was $366 billion, 28 percent lower than it was at this point last year. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the deficit will be $492 billion, the lowest deficit since 2008's $459 billion ($498 billion counting inflation).

Meanwhile, the White House gave a more conservative estimate of a $583 billion deficit, according to the AP. That still puts the deficit down nearly $100 billion from $680 billion last year.

If you've been following the ebb and flow of the deficit, you know that last fiscal year was the first time the deficit was as low as its been since 2008, and down from the trillion dollar deficits of every year of Obama's presidency. In October The Wire laid out how to argue about the decrease based on your political beliefs: Republicans credit the sequester and decreased spending and Democrats credit their policies. The difference is that, so far this year, revenues have increased 8 percent and spending has also gone up 1 percent. 

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