Tax collections rose by $220 billion — or 16% — between the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1 through April 30. Individual and payroll taxes accounted for $184 billion of that increase.
The tax haul rose sharply primarily because wages and salaries were higher, the payroll tax cut of the past two years expired on Jan. 1 and the fiscal cliff deal brokered over New Year’s raised tax rates on high earners.
Spending, meanwhile, fell 1.9% year over year, the CBO estimated.
The biggest percentage drop occurred in the payment of unemployment benefits, which were down nearly 25%, or $15 billion. Defense spending fell 5.3%, or $20 billion, and “other activities” — primarily spending on nondefense programs — fell 8.6%, or $58 billion.
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