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Deficit Spending Continues To Need Addressed

Our federal government — particularly the White House — continues to fail to take the consequences of deficit spending seriously.

President Biden’s approach to economic policy is, in the words of Peter Suderman of Reason magazine, “a philosophy of throwing money at programs, people, political allies and favored constituencies.”

This philosophy can be seen in a $510 billion budget deficit in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024 — an increase of $89 billion from the same period a year ago.

The director of the Congressional Budget Office, Phillip Swagel, warned members of the U.S. House in early February that the deficit would grow by an estimated $1 trillion over the next 10 years. According to the CBO’s analysis, at its current pace the deficit will grow to $2.6 trillion in 2034.

As we have editorialized before, these practices are unsustainable.

The willingness of our leaders to neglect that simple reality already has ramifications. According to the Wall Street Journal this week, the U.S. government will pay $870 billion in interest on the national debt this year.

That’s $870 billion that could have been spent on veterans’ benefits or on grants to libraries or on extending the Social Security fund or on balancing tax cuts for middle-class families.

Regardless of your underlying principles about what the government should or shouldn’t do, or your priorities for what line in the budget is most important, an $870 billion opportunity is lost due to past failures.

And the failures continue to accrue, and will cost future generations opportunities at, we’re afraid, a much steeper price.

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