- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The federal deficit continues to drop, powered by a better economy, higher tax rates and the spending cuts that have left the government’s bottom line in much better shape than at any time under President Obama, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest numbers released Wednesday.

Through 10 months of the fiscal year, the government has run a $606 billion deficit, which is still higher than any other president — but it is a substantial improvement over then $974 billion deficit through this point in 2012.

The CBO said revenue is up 14 percent, thanks to both a recovering economy and to the tax increases that took hold at the beginning of is year, while spending has actually dropped by 4 percent.

Spending cuts have been powered chiefly by the sequester and budget caps, and a drop in stimulus spending such as higher unemployment benefits or bolstering of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Those cuts managed to overcome a rise in entitlement spending on the big three program — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — which jumped $73 billion, or 5.6 percent so far this year.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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