Following Trump tax cut, federal budget deficit up 77 percent so far this budget year

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WASHINGTON — The federal government recorded a budget surplus in January. But so far this budget year, the total deficit is 77 percent higher than the same period a year ago.

The Treasury Department said Tuesday that the deficit for the first four months of this budget year, which began Oct. 1, totaled $310.3 billion. That’s up from a deficit of $175.7 billion in the same period a year ago. The surplus in January was $8.7 billion.

The higher deficit reflected greater spending in areas such as Social Security, defense and interest payments on the national debt. Meanwhile, the government collected lower taxes from individuals and corporations, reflecting the impact of the $1.5 trillion tax cut President Donald Trump pushed through Congress in 2017.

Individual income taxes withheld from paychecks total $818 billion for the October-January period, down 3 percent from the same period last year. Corporate income taxes total $73 billion over the four-month period, down 23 percent.

Revenue, however, is up is in tariffs — border taxes collected on imports — which totaled $25 billion in the October-January period, up 91 percent from the same period a year ago. This reflects the higher tariffs the Trump administration has imposed on China and other nations in various trade disputes.

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