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October Debt Is Third-Highest In American History

November 19, 2010 by  

October debt is third highest in American historyThe Treasury Department says that the Federal government began the new budget year with the third-highest October deficit on record.

According to media reports, the debt accrued in October was $140.4 billion, which is nearly $36 billion lower than the imbalance in October 2009, but still likely to set the tone for the third straight year of $1 trillion-plus deficits. Last year's Federal debt totaled $1.29 trillion, second only to the all-time record of $1.42 trillion in 2009.

President Barack Obama's administration has predicted that the 2011 deficit will be around $1.42 trillion, although many economists believe it will be slightly lower, The Associated Press reports.

Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, the co-chairmen of Obama's deficit-cutting panel, released a proposal on Nov. 10 that called for major changes in government spending and tax policies. Some of the recommendations included raising the gasoline tax, cutting Medicare costs, raising the retirement age and reducing the defense budget.

The Wall Street Journal reports that many Republicans have voiced their support for the preliminary proposal, which would reduce the national deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. During an interview on CNBC, Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called it "a step in the right direction."

Many Democrats have denounced the draft because of the proposed squeeze on Social Security benefits. Some Republican lawmakers have criticized its tax increases, which account for 25 percent of the deficit reduction, the news provider reports.

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