CBO Monthly Budget Review, April 2010

Congressional Budget Office

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which economist James Galbraith suggested in yesterday's Washington Post should be eliminated because its "projections are indefensible, internally inconsistent and economically impossible," released on Friday one of its more accurate pieces of work, the Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for April.

In his blog post summing up the April MBR, which simply looks at what has already happened and doesn't make too many prognostications, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf states:

In the first seven months of fiscal year 2010, the federal government incurred a budget deficit of about $800 billion, the same as the shortfall at the same point in 2009...Outlays and revenues alike are lower than they were last year at this time, by 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively. At the end of the spring tax-filing season, receipts of individual income taxes were less than CBO anticipated, but receipts of corporate taxes were greater.

It seems that the lower receipts from this time last year are double what the CBO predicted (maybe Galbraith is on to something), and occurred partially as a result of "lower wages and salaries in the first half of the fiscal year and from the Making Work Pay credit, which was enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)."

But Elmendorf expects receipts to rise soon because over the past two months "withheld income and payroll taxes have been greater than in the same months last year, presumably reflecting a rebound in wages and salaries and a much smaller impact from the Making Work Pay credit."

We'll see.

Read the rest of the MBR to soak up all the estimates, budget totals, and receipts and outlays you can get your hands on.

Image by Flickr user johnsolid used under a Creative Commons license.

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