US Budget Deficit Hits $1.3 Trillion

Posted October 14th, 2011 at 3:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. government ran a $1.3 trillion budget deficit for the fiscal year that ended in September.

It is the second-highest deficit on record and the third year in a row the gap between tax revenue and spending has been over $1 trillion.

All the annual deficits added together make up the nation's $14.8 trillion debt, which is about the size of all the goods and services produced in the country for a whole year.

The huge debt sparked vicious political squabbling in August, which ended when Democrats and Republicans agreed to set up a committee to find $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade. They face a late November deadline to make a deal, or face massive cuts in military spending and popular social programs.

Voter disgust at political gridlock on financial and other issues is one reason that the latest survey of consumer attitudes Friday shows the most pessimism about the future since 1980.

The downbeat report contrasted with data from the Commerce Department earlier Friday. The government report showed U.S. retail sales rose 1.1 percent in September, the largest increase in seven months.