In Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s last budget, city spending clocked in at $34.2 billion in today’s dollars (not including federal and state grants). In the fiscal year that starts in July, New York will spend $53.3 billion.

That’s a $19.1 billion increase after inflation — or nearly 55.8 percent.

The mayor defended his budget record yesterday: “Roughly, the growth in our expenses has mirrored the growth in our tax revenues.” Very roughly. In fact, this will be the fifth year out of the past six that the city hasn’t really balanced its budget.

New York will take in $1.1 billion less than it spends this year; it’s had such gaps since the Wall Street boom ended more than half a decade ago.