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WASHINGTON (AFP) – The U.S. deficit was down 35 percent to $755 billion in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, after posting an August shortfall of $148 billion, the Treasury said Thursday.

Although larger than the average monthly spending gap, the August deficit was 22.5 percent lower than August 2012, helped by a slight rise in receipts against a sharper fall in spending.

The 35 percent decline over the first 11 months from the same period in the 2012 fiscal year came as receipts rose 13.0 percent to $2.47 trillion while outlays were down 3.9 percent at $3.19 trillion.

Despite the gains in narrowing the deficit from the 2009 full-year high of $1.4 trillion, the administration of President Barack Obama is girding for a tough battle with congressional Republicans in the coming weeks over putting through a new financial plan for fiscal 2014, which begins on October 1.

Republicans are threatening to block the budget to get further spending cuts and reverse Obama’s far-reaching health reforms.

But the battle threatens to shut down parts of the government if a new budget cannot be passed.

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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