partlycloudy
Saturday February 6th, 2016 8:29PM

US budget deficit down to $680B, lowest in 5 years

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the first time in five years, the U.S. government has run a budget deficit below $1 trillion.

The government said Wednesday that the deficit for the 2013 budget year totaled $680.3 billion, down from $1.09 trillion in 2012. That's the smallest imbalance since 2008, when the government ran a $458.6 billion deficit. It's still the fifth-largest deficit of all time.

The deficit is the gap between the government's tax revenue and its spending. It narrowed for the budget year that ended on Sept. 30 because revenue rose while spending fell. Revenue jumped 13.3 percent to $2.77 trillion. Government spending declined 2.4 percent to $3.45 trillion.

A stronger economy created more jobs and income over the past year, which generated greater tax revenue. At the same time, the Obama administration and Congress agreed in January to end a temporary cut in Social Security taxes and also to raise income taxes on the wealthy.

And spending fell in part because of across-the-board cuts that took effect in March.

The Obama administration and Republicans in Congress are now engaged in another battle over the budget and Obama's health insurance program. That led to a 16-day partial government shutdown this month.

And while the parties reached a deal to re-open the government this month, it contained an agreement to only fund government operations until Jan. 15 and suspend the government's borrowing limit until Feb. 7.

A House-Senate conference committee met on Wednesday for the first time since the shutdown. They are hoping to reach a deal that would remove the threat of another shutdown and ease fears of a debt default.

The Obama administration stressed in announcing the 2013 results that the government is succeeding in reducing the deficit from the record levels that had been hit.

"It is now less than half of what it was when the president took office," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement.

The $680.3 billion deficit for the just-completed budget year represents 4.1 percent of the total economy, down from 6.8 percent last year. In dollar terms and not adjusted for inflation, the deficit is still the fifth-largest in history. It was exceeded only by four straight deficits above $1 trillion. The record deficit was $1.4 trillion set in 2009, Obama's first year in office.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 2 years ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 2 years ago )
Amtrak to suspend some Crescent service in Jan., Feb.
Amtrak service will shut down in parts of the Southeast for several days in January and February for rail maintenance by Norfolk Southern Railway.
9:00AM ( 2 years ago )
Lung cancer scans urged for some smokers, not all
Certain current or former heavy smokers should start getting yearly scans for lung cancer to cut their risk of death from the nation's top cancer killer, government advisers said Monday - even as they stressed that the tests aren't for everyone.
7:26AM ( 2 years ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 2 years ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Feeling US snub, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere
Increasingly vocal in its frustration over U.S. policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.
4:34PM ( 2 years ago )
NSA reportedly intercepts computer deliveries
A German magazine has lifted the lid on the operations of the National Security Agency's hacker unit, revealing how American spies intercepted computer deliveries, exploited hardware vulnerabilities, and even hijacked Microsoft's bug report system to spy on their targets.
12:31PM ( 2 years ago )
Rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel
Rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel on Sunday, causing no injuries but sparking an Israeli reprisal shelling in a rare flare-up between the two countries.
12:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Politics
More than 20 people arrested by Georgia, Tennessee authorities on sex-related charges
Authorities say more than 20 people have been arrested on charges related to sex trafficking and online exploitation of children in Tennessee and Georgia.
By The Associated Press
6:00PM ( 2 hours ago )
Hall County plans discussion of South Hall traffic signals, maintenance of I-985 exits
Discussions involving the need for more traffic signals in the South Hall area and the maintenance of exits along I-985 in that part of the county are planned by the county commission Monday.
3:00PM ( 5 hours ago )
Labor department, VA team up for employment workshops for veterans
State labor officials are teaming up later this month with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on a couple of employment workshops in north Georgia designed specifically for veterans.
12:01PM ( 8 hours ago )
Neighborhood watch program partners with Hall County Sheriff's Office
​Hall County authorities have partnered with a neighborhood watch website to increase efforts in county neighborhoods.
10:02AM ( 10 hours ago )
East Hall home destroyed by early morning fire, residents evaluated for smoke inhalation
Two people suffered what appeared to be minor smoke inhalation when their mobile home was destroyed in the eastern part of Hall County early Saturday morning.
8:40AM ( 11 hours ago )