US Spent A Record $4 Trillion In Fiscal 2017, Pushing Deficit To $666 Billion

Tyler Durden's picture

One year ago, the CBO forecasted that the  Fiscal 2017 US deficit (for the year ended September 30), would be in the mid-$500 billion range. It was not meant to be, however, and on Friday the Treasury reported that with outlays of $341 billion in the last month of the fiscal year, offset by $349 billion in receipts, the full year deficit grew to a nice, round and very memorable $666 billion in fiscal 2017, up $80 billion or 14% from fiscal 2016. The government ran an $8 billion surplus in September, much smaller than the $33 billion surplus in September 2016. Receipts fell 2% while outlays grew 5% last month compared with the same period a year earlier.

For the full year, federal tax receipts reached a record high $3.315 trillion, thanks to slightly faster growth, according to a Treasury official quoted by the WSJ. But government outlays also hit a record high last year at nearly $4 trillion ($3.981 trillion to be precise), 3% higher than they were in the previous fiscal year, thanks to increased spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as higher interest payments on the public debt. And that's with interest rates that were near all time lows. We can't wait until the $20+ trillion in Federal debt starts really hitting the bottom budget line as the Fed starts pushing rates higher.

As a percentage of gross domestic product, the deficit totaled 3.5%, up from 3.2% in fiscal year 2016. The good news is that after contracting for 4 consecutive months in early 2017, federal government receipts have once again started grown on a Y/Y basis.

“Today’s budget results underscore the importance of achieving robust and sustained economic growth,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement accompanying the report. “Through a combination of tax reform and regulatory relief, this country can return to higher levels of GDP growth, helping to erase our fiscal deficit.” It remains unclear how incurring another $1.5 trillion in debt in a time of rising rates to provide debt relief mostly to the wealthy is synonymous with erasing the fiscal deficit.

A more sober voice of reason, that of Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, said the figures “should serve as a smoke alarm for Washington” and a reminder to “get our fiscal hour in order.”

Meanwhile, deficit hawks, including some in Congress, warned that a GOP plan to rewrite the tax code could make the country’s fiscal situation worse if it adds to the deficit, which it will: the Senate approved a budget resolution Thursday that would allow Congress to pass a tax cut that lowers federal revenues by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

Declining government revenues and long-term costs associated with an aging population, including higher Social Security and Medicare spending, are expected to continue pushing up deficits over the coming decades.

As a reminder, this is what the CBO - and JPM - forecast the future trajectory of US debt looks like. It also explains why, at this point, the Fed will stop at nothing to cause hyperinflation.


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dogismycopilot's picture

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BaBaBouy's picture
"$666" Billion

That Number has to be Pure Coincidence ~ ~ ~

Hal n back's picture

how much did debt increase by?


Rapunzal's picture

Just another satanic, Masonic and illuminati hit is coming. Depopulate those MF white and gun loving Americans.

YUNOSELL's picture

Definitely not a Ponzi-type structure -- completely sustainable

Déjà view's picture

$666 Bn...was TOTAL accumulated debt from nations founding until mid 1970's...good thing Mr. Market rode off into sunset...

venturen's picture

Obama left his mark for sure

DontWorry's picture

That’s the crash signal

Giant Meteor's picture

666 eh?

I believe you're correct ..

AgAuSkeptic's picture

This is partly the result of huge spending on worthless overpriced medication with little effectivity like Thiola (

pitz's picture

At least WW2 could have been regarded as a strategic investment to ensure the viability of US manufacturing for decades to come.  

But the current crop of spending, is what?  EBT and Obamaphones?  Million dollar cancer treatments for those with months to live?  Government pensioners getting pensions that exceed their final salaries?  There's no asset being accumulated there.

csmith's picture

" this point, the Fed will stop at nothing to cause hyperinflation."

Speaking of the Fed stopping, or not starting, as the case may be:

Simplifiedfrisbee's picture

How are the lead filled Info Wars supplements?

chickadee's picture

666? Isn't that an unlucky number?

A. Boaty's picture

That depends on how you play it. It can work for you if you know what it really means.

I Write Code's picture

$666?  Now we know who's really in charge.

Rex Andrus's picture

Yeah. Hebephrenics with pocket calculators.

earleflorida's picture

Ya know the 'Rothschild Syndicate' is just a name given the family (excellent money managers) by the "Money ?Jew? Kings" that own our FRB System!

They created our debt, as in India, Australia, Africa, ME, Canada, South America, Europe and all the Great` Isands... large (Japan) and small (?Archipelago's?/ Indonesia etal.) on the open seas from the Temperate Zones to the Tropic Zones!!!

#666# is a slap of arrogance?

$6 Trillions is shit!!!  ,... to them!

Who are they---

It all started in India in the late 17th Century

Steam Engine/ Coal/Oil Engines/Nuclear Engines all power they control before it becomes ubiguitous. and all the great inventions that take root from the marvel of the industrial ages as in todays information technology.

they own it all and esp. the USSA

We are their 'Debt Slaves" as is most of the world!

Perhaps they already own Russia and China? Who the fuck knows?!?

Friedrich not Salma's picture

What's with the recent charts indicating debt-to-GDP at 80% instead of 106%?

JonNadler's picture

they stopped counting intragovernmental debt

Friedrich not Salma's picture

Thanks, I see. If the Social Security taxes they collected actually existed, or were loaned out, instead of being spent and replaced with yet another I.O.U. in a box somewhere, I could agree with their method. However, not including intragovernmental debt seems to be another accounting farce.

What a surprise!


the 6 is a perfect number. now take it three times and you get lucky

Cautiously Pessimistic's picture

Debts and deficits to the moon now.  No turning back from this exponentially upward sloping trend.  The dollar is a dead man walking....much of the world, and many Americans, have not figured that out just yet, and I would not include Russia or China in that group.  They know the gig is up and circling like buzzards waiting to feast on the bloated carcass.  Just like every empire before us we are moving through the 8 stages rather quickly now (others break it out in 10 or 12 stages). 

What should a prudent person be doing with their time and energy and federal reserve notes right now?  If you have spent more than 6 hours on ZH, I am pretty sure you know most of the answer to this. 


Hal n back's picture

that's the power of compounding we were all taught in undergraduate Business.

Cautiously Pessimistic's picture

I am pretty certain that undergrad business these days is more about inner feelings and emotions.... sprinkled with classes on 'social justice' practices and how to spot 'white privilege' out in the world.


bshirley1968's picture

So we have room for a big tax break.........riiiiggghhhhtttt!

lester1's picture

Won't higher interest rates force us to pay more on the national debt and erode any economic growth that comes from tax cuts??


If so, why even do tax cuts at all?

Mikeyyy's picture

You're forgetting.  When Republicans hold the levers of power, "tax cuts pay for themselves."

Mr_Potatohead's picture

What rate are you referring to?  If nominal official interest rates go up to 10%  but the real rate of inflation (which is never reported by .gov) is 20%, do you think .gov minds paying more on the national debt as long as they still have a printing press?

The Wedge's picture

Does anyone actually believe:

A. Tax reform, real reform ie flatten, remove shelters etc is possible?

And a related question.

B. That Government will actually stop runaway spending?

And why.

And what are the real reasons for both realities?

Don Sunset's picture

This is how empires end.  We are all witnessing it.

Van Halen's picture



mendigo's picture

I thought the deficit in 2017 was 4T!

You see, zh is always exagerating.

To da moon baby!

Remember when 4T was a big number?

Ha! Bring on the 1T coin - picture of BushBama on front and Ben's butt on back. Gold plated zinc. 3D printed.

JailBanksters's picture

Growth these days is measured by how much money you can pluck out of your ass.


uhland62's picture

If you don't pluck it gets stuck and you have a very serious problem. 

But it is very necessary to print money because if you do not, then China's economy could become bigger than US's. Then the IMF must move to Bejing. It's a silly old rivalry like in the kindergarten sandpit 'I am bigger than you', "no, I am bigger than you' - ra, ra, ra. 

JailBanksters's picture

But who wants to say my ass is bigger than your ass

Not if_ But When's picture

A mere $4 trillion in spending for the entire nation just reinforces how much we all gave to the financial industry bailout so fucking Blankfein and Dimon could become billionaires instead of former CEOs of bankrupt companies.        CPL593H

onwisconsinbadger's picture

Deficits do not matter. The Great Dick Cheney.

uhland62's picture

Of course they don't when you can have a war, or two, or three. It's other people's money from the printing presses, not his so .......

Stop training Afghans on US soil who go AWOL. Get out of Aghanistan because they kill the recruits faster than you can sign them up.

Stop building a drone base in Niger when the population does not want it. Get out of Somalia which will never be peaceful etc, etc, etc. 

That's a fair start for saving, isn't it.

Deep Snorkeler's picture

Deficits Do Not Matter


1. no one in America can control them

2. no one really wants to control them

3. they will never be paid

4. our entire economy is fakey-breaky phony

5. it is already too late


hotrod's picture

We start 2018 with 40 billion for all the storm damage.  700 billion for 2018

Kelley's picture

What is not being reported is that tax revenues rose by $400 billion dollars! It was spending that increased $480 billion.

IOW, we don't have a revenue problem but a spending problem in that the increased spending far outstripped the increase in revenues.

It's been proven four times in the last 100 years that lower tax rates increase revenues. But it will take lower spending to solve the problem because Congress looks at increased revenue as their winning lottery ticket to unlimited free drinks on the house. No amount of booze is enough for the confirmed alcoholic.   

activisor's picture

All those 6's. The US Administration is doing the devil's work.

Let it Go's picture

The deficit is only going to get worse. When Obama took office it was expected debt would stand at 12.5 trillion in 2019. When President Trump took office the National Debt Clock was ready to breach the 20 trillion dollar mark. The myth that a scenario of growth coupled with a falling deficit will allow us to outgrow many of the problems we face only brings with it a false optimism and hope.

The ugly truth many people choose to ignore is that starting in 2017 entitlements will become the driving force that carries the deficit higher and higher into nosebleed territory. More about just how bad this problem is in the article below.

Massive National Debt Looms Over America

Expat's picture

Social spending represents the largest portions of the budget. 60% of the official Federal budget is for social security, medical, health, unemployment and labor.  So, 60% of spending is to help citizens under mandatory spending programs for the most part.

800-900 billion (about 20% of the budget) is spent on the military and veteran's benefits.  This is mostly "discretionary" spending.  The US spends 54% of its discretionary budget on blowing the shit out of third world countries.

110 billion is spent on agriculture, mostly subsidies to large ag conglomerates (corporate socialism, I guess).

Interest on debt is about $315 billion.

So, by all means, let's cut social spending because fuck the poor and fuck the helpless.  And any of you Trumpeteers who ever received a Federal dime in social assistance, well, I KNOW that you sent it back.  right?

The US spends about $611 billion on its military budget alone (this does not include tens of billions of military spending which falls under aid and other things as well as off-budget spending on Iraq and Afghanistan).  But use $611 billion

The next highest is China at $215.  Followed by Russia at 70, Saudi at 63, India at 55, France at 55, and the UK at 48.  So the US spends as much on guns and tanks as next eight or nine countries combined.  If we drew up a list of US enemies, we see their spending is ridiculously small compared to ours: Russia 70, Iran 12, North Korea 10.    Anyone else considered our enemy?  Add China in there?

So we outspend our avowed enemies by six to one.  But by all means, let's cut off spending to help people eat, have shelter, and learn because America and capitalism are all about fucking over everyone we can, whenever we can.  In fact, I think I will cut off my kids.  they are 12 and 16 which is old enough to fend for themselves, the selfish little commies.


Honest Sam's picture

Debt doesn't  matter, the deficit is figment of the digital imagination.  It's not like there's a trillion in new FRNs floating around in the world.

They are just like Pornography, they only exist on line, can't touch, see, smell (thank god), or hear it. 

Don't worry about the debt.  It's likely a total lie anyway, just like the Warren Commission report on JFK, Bobby's blown out brain, and MLK's killer.

"If a tree falls in the woods, you can't make it drink."