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Government running $69-billion deficit so far

The government is running a deficit of $69.4-billion for the first five months of the budget year, a sharp contrast to the $25.9-billion surplus for the same period a year ago.

The latest snapshot of the government's finances, released Wednesday by the Treasury Department, is in line with the expectations of many budget analysts. They are predicting the United States will record a deficit for the entire fiscal year, which has not happened since 1997.

For the first five months of fiscal 2002, which started Oct. 1, government spending totaled $837.1-billion, a 9.3 percent increase over the same period last year. Total revenues this budget year came to $767.7-billion, a 3 percent drop from the corresponding period a year ago.

The Congressional Budget Office said a drop in individual income tax payments was a big factor in the decline in government revenues.

The biggest spending categories so far this budget year were: Social Security, $199.1-billion; Health and Human Services Department programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, $186.8-billion; interest on the public debt, $150.4-billion; and military, $130-billion.