Newly released government figures show that federal tax revenues topped $3 trillion for the first time in history, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday.
According to the Treasury Department
's latest Monthly Treasury Statement, the federal government collected $3.020 trillion — an increase of 9 percent in revenue compared with 2013.
Only five years ago, in 2009, the Treasury collected in $2.1 trillion in taxes.
"Every one of those $3 trillion is sucked out of the private-sector economy and makes the private sector smaller," Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, told The Washington Times
"The $3 trillion isn't free. It comes out of our pockets and from the private economy," Edwards said.
In fiscal year 1977, the federal government collected $1.401 trillion in inflation-adjusted revenue. Compared with current figures, that represents an increase in revenues of 115.7 percent, according to CNS News
The government spent $3.504 trillion and fiscal year 2014, which ended Sept. 30, closed $483 billion in the red, the Times reported. That's down from $1.4 trillion in 2010, the paper said.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew chose to focus less on the record revenues and more on the reduction of the budget deficit produced by increased tax receipts.
"The president's balanced approach to deficit reduction has made our tax code more fair, reduced spending and made critical investments to help drive U.S. competitiveness and growth," said Lew in a statement.
"The president's policies and a strengthening U.S. economy have resulted in a reduction of the U.S. budget deficit of approximately two-thirds — the fastest sustained deficit reduction since World War II."
Treasury attributed the growth in tax receipts in 2014 to an improving economy and the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts, a change that led to higher tax rates on high-income individuals.
Corporate taxes rose 16 percent to $321 billion, the third highest total in history.
While applauding a reduced budget deficit, Office and Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan said the focus after November should be on growing the economy, The Hill
"When they come back in November, Congress must past a full-year appropriations bill for the rest of 2015," Donovan told reporters.
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