I’m always a little suspicious when I see something this elaborately stage managed, not to mention that I saw the word “budget” in that report, so let’s dig a little deeper.
It took a while, and this government website is nowhere as pretty, but the Treasury Department does publish a monthly statement of the total debt outstanding owed by the federal government. Guess what, it doesn’t verify the $587 billion deficit. It doesn’t contain the word “budget” either. The amounts are in trillions.
So it would appear that the deficit was closer to $1.5 trillion than it was to the $.5 trillion that the Times is telling us about. Where did the other $835 billion go?
Is it the difference between the budget and actual spending? Perhaps so, but to some degree it is the result of a distortion caused by lumping Social Security revenue into the general revenue stream. That money is paid into a trust fund, not into the government’s coffers, and the government borrows from the trust fund, borrowing which is largely concealed in the reporting by the ploy of including non-government funds into government revenue reporting.
This is just one of many ways in which our government lies to us.