Bloomberg by the Numbers: 21%

Photograph by Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

A worker sands a piece of custom furniture at a manufacturing facility in South Elgin, Illinois.

That’s how much the deficit fell last month compared with November 2012, according to the Treasury Department.

Expressed in terms of dollar figures, the deficit fell to $135.2 billion last month from $172.1 billion a year earlier, or a decrease of about $36.9 billion.

Federal budget deficits have declined during President Barack Obama’s administration.

“Declining unemployment has helped reduce the country’s deficit as a share of gross domestic product by more than half in the past four years to $680.3 billion in fiscal year ended Sept. 30 from a record $1.42 trillion in 2009,” Bloomberg’s Kasia Klimasinska reported.

As early as today, the House of Representatives is expected to pass a budget agreement that would ease limits on discretionary federal spending for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Many members of Congress oppose the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

The budget accord, the product of weeks-long bipartisan negotiations led by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray of Washington, would reduce deficits by $85 billion over 10 years, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office.

The agreement would reduce spending by $78 billion and increase revenues by $7 billion during that period, according to CBO. Over the next two years, though, it would ease the automatic budget cuts by about $63 billion. It sets the discretionary spending at about $1.01 trillion for this fiscal year, higher than the $967 billion under a 2011 budget agreement.

“The main components of the deal include raising contributions that federal employees make to their retirement plans and increasing premiums for pensions backed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.,” Bloomberg’s Heidi Przybyla, Derek Wallbank and Laura Litvan reported.

Obama supports the measure.

“The legislation would replace a portion of the across-the-board sequester that has harmed students, seniors, and middle-class families and has served as a drag on the Nation’s economy over the last year,” the White House’s Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.

The deal is opposed by Heritage Action and the Club for Growth, which are aligned with Tea Party positions on curbing government spending, taxes and regulation.

“This proposal swaps debt reduction today and next year, for the dubious promise of debt reduction a decade from now,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, whose organization hasn’t shied from intervening in Republican primaries against incumbents.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the agreement “does nothing for the millions of people who remain without work.”

 

 

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