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THE STATE OF THE UNION : December Federal Deficit Drops 18% From '85

January 28, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The federal government ran a $12.08-billion budget deficit last month, down 18% from the red ink rolled up a year ago, the Treasury Department reported Tuesday.

The department said the December deficit compared to an imbalance between revenues and spending of $14.66 billion in December, 1985.

For the first three months of this fiscal year, the deficit totals $64.34 billion. While this is a 14% improvement over the same three months in 1986, it is still behind the pace of improvement the Reagan Administration is predicting for the entire year.

For the 1987 fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, the Administration is forecasting a budget deficit of $173.18 billion, down 22% from the all-time high of $220.7 billion in red ink last year.

In its budget request for 1988, the Administration is forecasting a further shrinkage in the budget deficit to $107.76 billion. Critics have questioned the figures for this year and next, contending they are based on favorable economic forecasts that are not likely to come true and on budget cuts Congress has rejected in the past.

For December, government revenues totaled $78.04 billion, up 47% over the November figure, reflecting quarterly tax payments made by consumers and businesses. Individual income tax collections totaled $33.58 billion, followed by $17.34 billion in Social Security contributions and $15.69 billion in corporate income taxes.

Spending also rose in December to $90.11 billion, a 12.7% increase over the November total.

Military spending totaled $23.5 billion last month and $66.22 billion for the first three months of the budget year, a 0.6% increase over the same period in 1986.

Spending for Social Security totaled $17 billion in December and $49.38 billion from October through December, an 11% increase over the same period a year ago.

The other programs in the Department of Health and Human Services, including Medicare and Medicaid, spent $13.4 billion last month and $37.47 billion for the past three months, a 2.5% rise from a year ago.

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