US debt burden boosts deficit

21 Octobre, 2018, 14:46 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Federal deficits are rising. Here's the whole story

That sent the deficit up 17 per cent, or USD113 billion, to its highest level since 2012, according to the Treasury report.

"President Trump and this administration will continue to work with Congress to make the hard choices needed to bring fiscal restraint", Mulvaney said in a statement.

If that's the case with the Trump OMB this time, it would mean fiscal 2020 nondefense discretionary budget authority in his request due next February would be roughly $445 billion - a whopping $152 billion, or 25 percent, cut from the fiscal 2019 cap signed into law by Trump in February.

"This year's deficit amounts to USD6,200 per household and is more than we spend each year on Medicare or defence", Committee's President Maya MacGuineas said in a statement. Debt would likely worsen in the coming years with the Trump administration expecting the deficit to top US$1 trillion in 2019, almost matching the US$1.1 trillion imbalance from 2012. The deficit grew during this period due to bailouts and other counter-recession measures. Thus deficits for 2018 rose by $113 billion. The Department of Treasury says American workers paid $1.6 trillion in taxes - the most in United States history. What is unmistakable from the data, however, is that the Trump tax cuts are not entirely, or even mostly, responsible for the increase in the deficit.

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Spending rose 3% over the previous year, fueled in part by increases to the defense budget agreed upon in September 2017 as part of a deal between Republicans and Democrats to head off a government shutdown. Sanders' office produced an analysis arguing America would be running a surplus without the tax cuts passed under Trump and George W. Bush, higher military spending after September 11, 2001, and the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the economy was already in a strong recovery when Trump moved into the White House, and he still boosted the deficit. Adjusted for inflation and economic growth, this is equivalent to tax revenues exceeding spending by $450 billion!

The deficit figure is in line with what the Congressional Budget Office, the official government scorekeeper of federal fiscal policy, projected earlier this month. The CBO said that this deficit increase "would arise because spending would grow steadily under current law, and revenues would not keep pace with that spending growth".

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney blamed Congress, which he said had shown a "continual unwillingness to restrain spending".

"People are going to want to say the deficit is because of the tax cuts - that's not the real story", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNN last week, arguing that Republicans went along with Democratic demands for increased non-defense spending in order to secure "very, very important" increases in defense outlays. Analysts estimate the tax cuts will cost the federal government more than $2.3 trillion over 10 years.

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