by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Two distressing facts to remember about President Biden’s new 10-year budget proposal. First, his proposed spending spree would bring the largest federal debt in American history. Second, this budget does not even include additional spending and debt proposals that are coming later.
On that first point, President Biden proposes that Washington spend $6 trillion next year — even as the pandemic recedes and the economy moves back towards full employment. Just a few years after federal spending first passed the $4 trillion threshold, President Biden would quickly blow past $6 trillion next year on the way past $8 trillion within a decade. Federal spending next year would exceed $45,000 per household. Is anyone possibly getting their money’s worth?
And yet even the President’s $3 trillion in new taxes over the decade — the largest tax increase since World War II — could not keep up with all this spending. The budget deficit would reach $1.8 trillion next year, and these continued deficits would bring the total national debt to 117 percent of the economy within a decade. Not even the second world war brought this much debt.
On the second point, these staggering figures do not even represent the entire Biden agenda. They account only for the recently-enacted “stimulus,” a massive discretionary spending hike, and the trillions in (creatively-defined) “infrastructure” spending proposed by the President over the past two months. However, during last fall’s campaign, Biden also proposed trillions in new spending for health care, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, climate change, college aid, and other priorities. The White House has signaled that these new spending initiatives are still in the pipeline.
Including these forthcoming proposals, the President would push spending and deficits far above any levels that have ever been sustained. The national debt — which was just under $17 trillion before the pandemic — would exceed $44 trillion a decade from now. That is more than $300,000 per household.