EDITORIALS: Washington’s destructive culture of profligacy

Here’s more proof that Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

The U.S. Treasury announced last week that it collected a record $256 billion in revenue for October, the first month of fiscal 2019. That’s almost $11.5 billion more than the previous October.

Many Democrats gleefully blame Donald Trump’s tax reforms for soaring deficits. In reality, the federal government is rolling in money — perhaps even because of tax relief.

While individual tax collections in October were down by about $2.5 billion from the same period a year ago, corporate tax receipts soared. The Treasury reports that corporate income tax collections hit $8 billion in October, a massive $4.2 billion increase from 2017.

It’s true that the corporate tax take had been down for the first nine months of this year. But as Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation pointed out in The Wall Street Journal, “Receipts from nearly every other tax source are rising at the federal and state levels.” That includes individual tax revenues, which were up nearly 8 percent through the first 10 months of fiscal 2018.

The October numbers signal that corporate receipts are now also trending upward.

Higher than expected growth — thanks, in part, to the Trump administration’s tax, business and regulatory agenda — is also helping to drive tax revenues.

Despite all this, the budget deficit grew 17 percent last fiscal year, hitting $779 billion. The chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers insists the administration will take “a much more aggressive stance” on attacking federal outlays.

But don’t expect that approach to go over well in the House, where big-spending Democrats now run the show. It’s much easier to rail about evils of letting people keep more of their own money than to address the destructive culture of profligacy that has pushed the nation’s debt past $21.7 trillion and counting.

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