The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the federal deficit increased 41 percent to $92 billion in the first fiscal quarter of 2019. A combination of the tax overhaul and the new spending deal decreased revenue while simultaneously increasing spending.
The Hill noted from the report that entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid were responsible for 18% of the spending increase.
However, the CBO states that timing irregularities caused the deficit spike to be overstated. If these irregularities had not occurred and the payment dates were aligned, the spending would have been $49 billion lower and the deficit would have only risen 21 percent instead of 41 percent.
Nevertheless, the increase is still of consequence. The CBO predicts that national debt will reach 96 percent without any policy changes.
The deficit increase, along with rising interest rates has noticeably increased the cost of servicing the government’s debt.
By White House estimates, the federal deficit will surpass $1 trillion this fiscal year.