In the first seven months of fiscal year 2023, the United States borrowed $925 billion, according to the latest Monthly Treasury Statement from the Treasury Department. Less-than-expected tax revenues contributed to a $176 billion surplus in April, a bit more than half the surplus the government saw this time last year.
The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:
If lawmakers ever needed a wakeup call, this is it. Meager tax revenue is exactly the kind of news we don’t need right now. April is one of the precious few times we actually expect to see a surplus, and yet a $176 billion surplus will matter very little when we’re borrowing $4.2 billion per day this fiscal year.
Deficits are clearly on the rise; in the last 12 months, we’ve borrowed $925 billion. No one should think that this kind of borrowing, particularly when unemployment is at a 50-year low and inflation at a 40-year high, is sustainable.
What’s more, the deadline to avoid an unprecedented debt default is rapidly approaching. The warning bells are ringing louder than they have been in years. We have known about this deadline for many many months, yet we are no closer to having a resolution. All parties should leave political posturing at the door, abandon the partisan brinkmanship, and raise the debt limit without threat or drama.
If all sides can agree on fiscal reforms, even better. Every lawmaker should acknowledge that our borrowing is excessive and thus should support making changes to the unsustainable trajectory we are on. In five short years, we’re projected to have more debt as a percentage of our economy than at any point in history. Social Security and Medicare face sudden, automatic, and across-the-board cuts if we follow the “do-nothing” plan on solvency. And, for the 20th year in a row, Congress hasn’t passed a budget on time – hell, this year they haven’t even proposed one. Everything should be on the table to get our fiscal house in order, but not the full faith and credit of the United States.
We are at a critical moment, and it’s up to our elected officials to do what’s right to guide us off the rocks and safely back to more responsible waters.
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