At the beginning of last year, President Barack Obama promised to cut the budget deficit in half by 2013. So far, though, the president's record on lowering the deficit has been dismal. And according to the most recent review from the Congressional Budget Office, which keeps track of this sort of thing, last month's deficit numbers show a budget deficit that's continuing to balloon.
Typically, we see a budget surplus for the month of December, because revenues are generally higher due to corporate income tax payments, year-end bonuses, and seasonal employment. But, as in 2008, this year we did not see a surplus; instead, we saw a $92 billion deficit — which, adjusted for variations in payment timing between 2008 and 2009, is $11 billion higher than last year's.
The CBO, which admits a high degree of uncertainty in its findings but is arguably still the best source we have for guesses about the budgetary outlook (and is most accurate when looking at what's already occured), has been calling our country's current fiscal path "unsustainable" since at least June. Half a year later, though, it appears that deficit's still expanding like Violet Beauregarde when she gets to the blueberry pie section of Willy Wonka's chewing gum.