For all President Joe Biden’s boasts of cutting the deficit, new figures show the gap actually doubled this year — to a jaw-dropping $2 trillion, the highest ever outside a recession or national emergency.
Such monstrous red ink not only saddles future generations with today’s excesses; it fuels enormous interest costs that crowd out truly necessary spending, such as for defense.
As Congress and the White House race to hammer out a budget for the fiscal year that starts in two weeks (and avoid a government shutdown) it’s imperative they shave spending and rein in deficits (for real).
How dangerous is the current nut?
Consider: Experts saw the hole as outrageously reckless at $500 billion in 2015, during the Obama days; it’s now four times that amount, less than a decade later.
Deficits over the past half-century have averaged 3.3% of Gross Domestic Product, the Congressional Budget Office reports; this year’s $2 trillion in IOUs is more than twice that, at 7.6%, up from 5.2% last year — and higher than at any time since World War II, save during the COVID shutdown and the 2008 financial collapse.
Interest payments are up 30% from 2022 just over the first 11 months of the year.
At a whopping $644 billion, they’re nearly as much as spending for national defense, $692 billion.
The mind-blowing numbers clearly prove the spring debt-ceiling fight was a sad joke.
Back then, Biden wanted to raise the limit (if not scrap it altogether) with no spending cuts at all, even though his unfunded outlays would drive up the deficit further.
His idea was to hike taxes.
But that would’ve only slowed the economy, hurting all Americans.
Republicans got him to agree to modest spending-growth restraint next year, but it’ll do little to bring the runaway deficit under control.
There’s no question that spending is the problem: Outlays are up 16% from last year, per the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Yet the trillions Biden and fellow Democrats added since he took office not only swelled the red ink; they also enflamed inflation.
That forced Uncle Sam (like everyone else) to cough up more for what it purchases — including Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
And obliged the Federal Reserve to goose interest rates, making government borrowing more expensive, too.
Biden’s boast about cutting the deficit was always an ugly lie: He seeks to take credit for a previously scheduled drop from unprecedented pandemic borrowing.
Yet the truth is becoming painfully clear: His monster deficits are simply not sustainable.
Pray that next year’s budget is the first of many to seriously curb spending and truly get America’s debt nightmare under control.
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