The federal government ran a $60 billion deficit in June and is already more than $900 billion in the red this fiscal year, but there is some bright news: basic government spending appears to be dropping, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday.
CBO said the government has paid out $2.7 trillion so far in fiscal year 2012, about the same level as it had by this point in fiscal year 2011. But when technical adjustments from the 2008 Wall Street bailout are subtracted, spending has actually dropped 2 percent.
That news comes after a year and a half of fierce battles between Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have fought for deeper spending cuts, and President Obama, who has fought for more money for his priorities.
CBO said Medicaid, education and unemployment benefit spending are both down significantly, chiefly because Mr. Obama's stimulus has winded down and its higher spending levels are expiring. Defense spending is also down in 2012...