The Treasury Deficit

June 19, 1931

Report Outline
Current Financial Position of the Government
Treasury Deficits and Surpluses of the Past
Analysis of 1931–1932 Receipts and Expenditures
Proposals for Increased Taxation
Special Focus

Current Financial Position of the Government

Revenues and Expenditures of the Fiscal Year 1931

During the first eleven months of the fiscal year which ends June 30, 1931, the expenditures of the United States Government exceeded its receipts by $1,040,458,092. This deficit is larger by $860,381,435 than that estimated for the whole year by the Secretary of the Treasury in his annual report of November 30, 1930. Although no accurate comparison of budget estimates with actual figures can be made until the close of the fiscal year, it is clear that the discrepancy is due both to smaller receipts and larger expenditures than were anticipated. The estimates foresaw a decrease of receipts for the current year, as compared with the preceding year, of $243,076,458 and an increase of expenditures of $20,789,413. The actual figures for the first eleven months show a deficiency of $570,107,017 in receipts and an excess of $267,444.660 in expenditures over the corresponding period of 1929–30. The comparative totals are as follows:

Last year large income tax receipts and foreign debt payments in June turned an eleven-months deficit of more than $200,000,000 into a surplus of $183,789,214, but recent Treasury estimates place these receipts for the current mouth at only about $300,000,000 and foreshadow a deficit at the end of the year of a billion dollars or more.

Problem of the Budget for the Fiscal Year 1932

For the next fiscal year, ending June 30, 1932, the Secretary of the Treasury last November estimated a surplus of $30,600,727 resulting from probable receipts of $4,085,119,927 and expenditures of $4,054,519,200. The latest estimate of expenditures during 1932, made public by President Hoover on April 24, places them at $4,119,230,649, which is about $65,000,000 above the original estimate but $300,000,000 below his estimate in April of 1931 expenditures. This reduction was attributed to proposed cuts of $12,000,000 in appropriations for the War Department, $10,000,000 for the Veterans' Administration, $10,000,000 for the Post Office Department, and $181,000,000 for agricultural aids. Since his April statement was made the President has held a series of conferences with department and bureau heads to discuss the cutting of expenditures and has reported the discovery of a considerable number of further possible reductions. More such conferences have been planned and the full extent of their accomplishments will appear in the next budget statement. The President has expressed no opinion as to probable receipts for 1932. In order to cover expenditures as estimated, they will have to exceed those of 1931 by nearly $1,000,000,000 and come within $60,000,000 of those of 1930. This makes no allowance for covering the deficit of the current year except by borrowing.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Deficit, Federal Debt, and Balanced Budget