The government’s revenue exceeded its spending in December by $53.2bn, according to a Bloomberg report. In December 2012, the government ended the month with a $1.19bn deficit.
That’s largely due to payments to the Treasury from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to Bloomberg. Payments from Fannie and Freddie to the Treasury were about $34bn more in December 2013 than in December 2102, according to Bloomberg.
Fannie and Freddie were taken into government conservatorship in 2008 after teetering on the brink of collapse during the financial crisis. The mortgage giants took about $187.5bn in government aid to keep their doors open. So far, they’ve returned more than $185bn of that to the Treasury.
Despite them handing record profits over to the Treasury, the government seems determined to kill Fannie and Freddie. Bipartisan legislation in the Senate would wind down the companies and replace them with a similar government backstop, while Republicans in the House Financial Services Committee favor measures that would essentially privatize the mortgage market entirely.
The federal government ended up with a record December budget surplus last month, thanks in large part to payments from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.