Government spending

Amazon wants to be the government's Everything Store

An Amazon logo overlaid on George Washington's mouth
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Amazon has found a potentially lucrative new customer for its retail platform: government officials who spend taxpayer dollars.

Why it matters: Collectively, federal and local officials spend billions of dollars a year on goods and services, ranging from copy paper to musical instruments for schools. Amazon’s attempt to capture those dollars alarms its critics, who say that taxpayers could get a raw deal while the tech giant expands its dominance.

U.S. deficit swells to $691 billion in first half of 2019

President Trump and Republicans during an event at the White House celebrating the passage of his tax bill in 2017.
President Trump and Republicans celebrating the passage of his tax bill in 2017. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Treasury Department revealed in a budget report on Wednesday that the country’s deficit grew to $691 billion in the first half of the 2019 fiscal year — beginning Oct. 1, 2018 — compared with the $600 billion in the comparable period last year, Reuters reports.

The big picture: The national debt passed $22 trillion, the most ever — $2 trillion of which has been accrued since Trump took office.

Go deeper: The national debt has soared past $22 trillion, but does it even matter?

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show the deficit grew to $691 billion, not grew by $691 billion and the link to last year's tax cuts has been removed because tax receipts were up.