Federal Deficit Continues to Grow

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The federal deficit continues to grow every month. It hit $181 billion in July alone.

So far this year, the deficit is at $1.3 trillion, far above last year's total of $455 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office or CBO.

While tax receipts are down due to the recession, The Hill newspaper reported that federal spending has gone up by $530 billion through July. That's 21 percent higher than a year ago.

Falling tax receipts and increased spending on bailouts for auto companies and the financial sector and for the economic stimulus package added to the deficit, according to CBO.

The latest deficit estimates come congressional Democrats and the White House are pushing for healthcare reform criticized by the GOP as too costly.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. stressed during a town-hall meeting in Colorado last week that the healthcare bill won't add to the deficit or restrict benefits and instead will increase access to care.  

Sen. Judd Gregg - R-N.H., the top Republican on the Budget Committee, said that Democrats in Congress aren't doing anything to address the record deficit and are instead pushing ahead with "wildly expensive" healthcare legislation.

"To allow the deficit to hit these previously unthinkable levels - while still planning to implement massive new spending programs - shows an incredible lack of fiscal responsibility, especially toward the future generations who will be saddled with the consequences of today's actions," Gregg said.

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