NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- October was another costly month for Uncle Sam. The Treasury Department reported on Thursday that federal coffers racked up a worse-than-expected deficit of $176.4 billion for the month.
It was the 13th straight month of a reported monthly deficit. Treasury said it was the largest October deficit on record.
October is the first month of the government's fiscal year, and at this reading, the Treasury is estimating that the annual deficit will hit $1.5 trillion. That would top the $1.42 trillion registered for 2009, which was the highest annual deficit since 1945.
Interest paid on the debt in October was $22.8 billion - or 7% of federal outlays for the month.
For the month, the Treasury took in $135.3 billion from various sources and spent $311.7 billion.
The administration has promised to deliver a deficit-reduction plan along with the president's proposed 2011 budget, which will be released early next year.
The call to reduce the deficit as soon as the economy regains its footing has grown louder in recent weeks as the country's accumulated debt will once again pierce the congressionally imposed debt ceiling sometime by the end of the year. As a result, lawmakers will have to vote to increase it from its current level of $12.1 trillion.
In anticipation of that vote, a group of lawmakers have been pushing for a bipartisan commission to be created to make a lot of the hard choices lawmakers have thus far avoided: how to rein in spending on Medicare and Social Security; how high to raise taxes on everyone, not just those making $250,000 or more; and which government funded programs to cut in part or altogether.
The person charged with drafting President Obama's deficit-reduction plan is White House Budget Director Peter Orszag.
Orszag told CNN on Thursday that the current deficit, as bad as it is, "is actually, ironically, helping the economy. The tax relief and additional spending helps to bolster demand when the economy is very weak."
Nike is opening up shop on Amazon.com and the company plans "big shifts" over the coming year. More
The shutdown, which raised protests from navigator groups, will occur from midnight to noon on on all but one Sunday. More
As if Uber's new CEO didn't already have his work cut out for him, Dara Khosrowshahi has to deal with losing London. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
When you're making big career decisions, you turn to your mentors and your trusted peers. But how do you find these mentors and trusted peers in the first place? More