By Casey Harper (The Center Square)
The federal debt will increase by $1.4 trillion in 2022 as President Joe Biden and Congress approve multiple new spending packages.
The Congressional Budget Office has released the final details of federal spending in 2022, with the federal government running a $1.4 trillion deficit last year and borrowing nearly $82 billion in December alone.
“It’s not a pretty picture any way you look at it,” said Maya McGuinness, chairwoman of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “There are times to borrow — during a pandemic or major recession — and there are times when we reduce debt, like when the economy is strong and inflation is hot.”
McGuinness pointed to last year’s debt totals of $10,000 per household and more than $4 billion per day.
The federal debt topped $31 trillion in the fall.
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The high debt was fueled in part by a rash of several trillion dollars in additional spending bills since Biden took office. Initially, that spending received broad support as a response to the pandemic, but later bills drew more opposition from Republicans.
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Biden has campaigned on reducing the deficit from $2.8 trillion to $1.4 trillion last year. While that may be true, the $1.4 trillion figure is still higher than when he took office. In 2019, the budget deficit was less than a trillion dollars.
“We need a fresh start in 2023 for how we budget, spend and borrow,” McGuinness said. “Members of Congress who are serious about the nation’s fiscal health must commit to passing a budget, not engaging in new debt, and coming up with a reasonable savings package to help reduce our debt.”
Without changes, the future of debt and deficits looks bleak. The Congressional Budget Office last summer released its economic outlook for the next decade and projected a record high debt level relative to the nation’s gross domestic product.
“CBO projects that the federal budget deficit will shrink to $1.0 trillion in 2022 (it was $2.8 trillion last year) and the annual deficit will average $1.6 trillion from 2023 to 2032,” CBO said. The deficit continues to decline as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) next year as spending related to the coronavirus pandemic wanes, but then the deficit will increase, reaching 6.1 percent of GDP in 2032. The deficit is only six times that. Since 1946.”
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Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.