The Treasury Department announced Tuesday that the United States federal government posted a $3 billion budget surplus in the month of January. According to Treasury officials, the surplus was due to a 16 percent increase in revenues, including the expiration of the temporary two percent payroll-tax cut at the end of 2012.
Although the surplus was driven just by tax increases, it is quite shocking that the U.S. government was able to “officially” have a monthly surplus. Of course, whenever the federal government releases numbers it is usually incorrect and probably off by several percent.
Let’s just assume that the government did have a surplus. During the first four months of the fiscal year, Washington has run a deficit of $290 billion. As a matter of fact, this is the first budget surplus since Jan. 2008.