Deficit climbs in August as government revenues fall


It's hardly surprising, but, as always, it is something of a shock: The federal government spent some $111 billion more than it brought in last month, pushing its budget deficit for the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30 to a record $1.38 trillion. That was less than economists expected, but still quite a huge sum.

It isn't cheap to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, provide social services to millions of people hit hard by the recession and rescue the global financial system and the U.S. auto industry from the brink of collapse. But runaway spending isn't the federal government's biggest problem right now, according to figures from the Treasury Department (PDF).