The federal government posted a $205 billion deficit in the month of February, according to an early estimate by the Congressional Budget Office.
That one-month figure is well more than twice the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that Congress and President Obama are arguing over — a calculation that underscores how deep the federal deficit problem is.
Still, the $205 billion deficit does mark an improvement compared to 2012, when the government notched a $232 billion deficit in February.
CBO said the increase in the payroll tax on Jan. 1, coupled with lower spending on defense, has helped the government’s bottom line.
All told, the government is $495 billion in the red in fiscal 2013, which began Oct. 1.
CBO releases a monthly estimate of the government’s fiscal picture. The Treasury Department will release an official tally later this month.