Listen To The Article Below
hile the Biden administration brags that it “cut” the federal government’s annual deficit in half in the fiscal year 2022, the reality is that the $1.4 trillion deficit is not a triumph but a travesty.
The “decline” in the deficit reported on Oct. 11 comes despite, not because of, any of Joe Biden’s actions as president. And the remaining deficit’s size remains gargantuan and grotesque.
When the famously high-spending Barack Obama left office, the then-most-recent deficit (FY 2016) was $587 billion. Even after adjusting for inflation, that’s just $720 billion in 2022 dollars — or just barely one-half the size of Biden’s deficit. And, to repeat, Obama’s own deficit was outrageously high.
For another comparison, again allowing for inflation, then-President Bill Clinton’s 1994 deficit of $203 billion, which was considered so bad that it was a major cause of the backlash that swept Republicans into a House majority for the first time in 40 years, was only 29% as large as Biden’s.
The only reason the deficit “declined” in the past year is that it had been artificially (and astronomically) expanded in the two prior years because of coronavirus-relief funds approved first by President Donald Trump and then, at an even higher level, by Biden. It was akin to what would happen to a family budget if for two years the family was forced to spend an extra $100,000 annually for cancer treatments, and then the treatments and extraordinary costs ended. The new family budget would now be far lower, but not because the family suddenly became frugal. It would be a wonderful thing that the cancer was now in remission, but the family budget would merely be returning closer to its norm.
In this case, Biden hasn’t even returned to the norm, but to a deficit two to four times the norm for a non-crisis year. That’s a record of profligacy that should cause not boasts but deep and abiding shame. As the high federal deficit and debt also come at a time of 40-year-high inflation and more than half a year of economic contraction, it means the public is being hurt economically in three ways at once.
The truth is that Biden and congressional Democrats have hiked substantially, not cut, the federal spending “baseline,” the amount of non-crisis outlays, even above the already-free-spending ways of Obama and Trump.