A record-breaking 19 straight months of federal deficits 

Yay! A new record:

The United States posted an $82.69 billion deficit in April, nearly four times the $20.91 billion shortfall registered in April 2009 and the largest on record for that month, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

It was more than twice the $40-billion deficit that Wall Street economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast and was striking since April marks the filing deadline for individual income taxes that are the main source of government revenue.

Department officials said that in prior years, there was a surplus during April in 43 out of the past 56 years.

The government has now posted 19 consecutive monthly budget deficits, the longest string of shortfalls on record.

Over at The Atlantic Derek Thompson makes the case that this isn’t as bad as it sounds. Thompson makes his case and it’s worth reading, but I’m more dubious — especially since Thompson blames low taxes for deficits, citing yesterday’s much ballyhooed USA Today analysis “Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950.” That’s only true if you don’t count payroll taxes or state sales taxes.


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