Everybody loves pay day, even Uncle Sam.
That's essentially what the annual tax filing season is. And the one that ended on April 18 was pretty good.
The U.S. Treasury Department's monthly statement for April, released May 11, shows receipts of $438.4 billion, thanks in large part to large individual tax deposits. That income, notes Treasury, produced a monthly surplus of $106.5 billion.
The current budget surplus, however, is down 32 percent from the same period last year. In April 2015, the surplus was $157 billion.
Shifting federal payments: Some of that could be attributable to the calendar.
Treasury notes that outlays for military active duty and retirement, veteran's benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Medicare payments to Health Maintenance Organizations and prescription drug plans were accelerated into April because May 1, the usual payment date, fell on Saturday.
Overall, the latest monthly Treasury statement offers the proverbial mixed bag.
While the deficit rose last month compared to the previous fiscal year ($355 billion owed versus $283 billion deficit in 2015), revenues were up from a year ago.
More money, more bills: And for the fiscal year to date, revenue has increased a bit from fiscal year 2015.
For the first seven months of the 2016 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2015 through April 30, 2016), Treasury has raked in a record $1.915 trillion in tax revenues. That's an increase of about $14 billion from the approximately $1.900 trillion that the Treasury collected during the same period in fiscal year 2015.
This year's money came from income tax receipts that, for the most part, remained steady. Corporate taxes, however, were weaker. Business tax payments have fallen by close to 10 percent so far this current fiscal year compared to fiscal 2015.
Plus, government spending has increased by almost 4.5 percent this year.
And every budgeter, from Uncle Sam to you and me writing checks at our kitchen table, known that if you pay out more than you take in, debt will increase.
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