The national debt grew by $83 billion in just the last month, the Congressional Budget Office announced as voters head to the polls in the midterm elections. The figure breaks down to $2.7 billion of new debt every day of the week.
“We’re just one month into the new fiscal year, and we’ve already borrowed $2.7 billion per day,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said in a news release about the new figures. “The debt is projected to continue to climb as we head for another year of a $1 trillion deficit. And that is assuming Congress doesn’t make things even worse.”
Neither political party has done much to reduce the deficit in recent years. The annual deficit grew each year under former President Donald Trump, then skyrocketed when the government approved trillions of stimulus dollars to offset lockdowns.
The annual deficit has fallen under Biden, but only in relative terms, coming in at $1.4 trillion of new debt last year.
“That is not an accomplishment — it’s a reminder of how precarious our fiscal situation remains,” MacGuineas said at the time.
There could be a fight over raising the debt ceiling early next year if Republicans take control of Congress, which could lead to a showdown between the major parties.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has expressed support for scrapping the debt ceiling, and Punchbowl News reported last month that some House Democrats are floating legislation to do just that in a lame-duck session of Congress after the election. But Biden has downplayed the idea as “irresponsible.”
CRFB is calling on Congress to promise no more borrowing during the rest of 2022, saying it can help with both the debt and inflation.
The nonprofit group also called on Congress to pass an actual budget this year, which would be the first time that has happened since the middle of the last decade.