US budget deficit tops $1 trillion for a fourth straight year
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has now spent $1 trillion more than it’s taken in for four straight years.
The Treasury Department confirmed yesterday what was widely expected: The deficit for the just-ended 2012 budget year — the gap between the government’s tax revenue and its spending — totaled $1.1 trillion. Put simply, that’s how much the government had to borrow.
It wasn’t quite as ugly as last year.
Tax revenue rose 6.4 percent from 2011 to $2.45 trillion. And spending fell 1.7 percent to $3.5 trillion. As a result, the deficit shrank 16 percent, or $207 billion.
A stronger economy meant more people had jobs and income that generated tax revenue. Corporations also contributed more to federal revenue than in 2011.
Justice Dept. to let recognized tribes possess eagle feathers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department said yesterday it is going to allow members of federally recognized Indian tribes to possess eagle feathers, although that’s a federal crime.
This is a significant religious and cultural issue for many tribes, who were consulted in advance about the policy the department announced.
The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and other federal wildlife laws criminalize the killing of eagles, which are listed as either endangered or threatened, and possession of feathers and bird parts, but the Constitution and federal laws also give tribes local sovereignty for self-government.
Under the new Justice Department policy, tribal members will not be prosecuted for wearing or carrying federally protected birds, bird feathers or parts. They also may pick up feathers found in the wild as long as they do not disturb federally protected birds or nests. Giving, lending or trading feathers or bird parts among tribe members, without any other compensation, also will be allowed.
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