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Photo: Bloomberg Creative Photos/Getty Images

The U.S. budget deficit hit $356.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, up 11.8% compared to the same period the previous year, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The deficit, which President Trump pledged in 2016 to eliminate within eight years, is on pace to exceed $1 trillion by the end of 2020. The U.S. has not seen $1 trillion annual deficits since the three years that followed the 2008 financial crisis, per the New York Times.

Details: The federal government spent the most on national defense, Medicare and social security, all of which rose from the prior fiscal year. Spending for Medicare and social security is expected to continue rising as the aging population grows.

  • Increases in those categories obscured higher receipts from corporate income taxes, which grew 23% to $65 billion, and individual taxes, which were up 3% at $385 billion.
  • Tariffs implemented by President Trump on China and other countries also brought in $21 billion from U.S. importers, up almost 20% from the same period last year, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper ... Chart: How the U.S. budget deficit has fluctuated since the 1980s

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.