(Official Washington Examiner editorial, July 17)  The latest grim news on the exploding federal government deficit testifies to the recklessness and incompetence of President Joe Biden. He isn’t responsible for the whole problem, but he has made it much worse.

On July 13, the Treasury Department said the deficit for the first nine months of the fiscal year, from October 2022 through June 2023, was almost $1.4 trillion. This is more than 2 1/2 times the size of the $515 billion deficit for the same period in the previous fiscal year. This is a shocking and financially perilous leap in borrowing. It comes despite near-record-low unemployment, which means more people are paying income taxes and fewer need unemployment assistance, thus reducing the need for a big chunk of federal spending.

The deficit should therefore be falling, not rising. Only dreadful and foolhardy policies create rapidly growing deficits in times of low unemployment.

Alas, Biden has provided just such policies in abundance. They have turned a bad national balance sheet into a full-blown budgetary disaster.

The surging deficit comes because federal revenues have fallen and extravagant spending has gone hog-wild. Both are Biden’s fault, directly and near directly. Directly, Biden’s American Rescue Plan included $1.9 trillion in spending, his infrastructure law had $1 trillion in spending, his laughably misnamed Inflation Reduction Act spent $750 billion, supposedly offset by tax hikes, and the CHIPS and Science Act spent another $280 billion.

All told, the respected and centrist Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget wrote last fall, “We estimate the Biden administration has enacted policies through legislation and executive actions that will add more than $4.8 trillion to deficits between 2021 and 2031.”

Near directly, Biden’s spending binge and the Federal Reserve’s recklessly loose monetary policy catalyzed 18 months of the worst inflation in four decades. The fiscal consequences, too,  have been severe…. [The full editorial is here.]

 

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