Has Biden Been Fiscally Responsible? He Says Yes, Budget Group Says No Way

Has Biden Been Fiscally Responsible? He Says Yes, Budget Group Says No Way


President Joe Biden has frequently touted the deficit reduction under his administration. He did it again at the White House event Tuesday celebrating last month’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. “This bill alone is going to lower the deficit by $300 billion over the next decade,” Biden said. “And that’s on top of the $350 billion we reduced the deficit in my first year. … And for this fiscal year a trillion, 500-billion-dollar reduction in the deficit. So I don’t want to hear it anymore about big-spending Democrats. We spend, but we pay.”

Given those comments, Biden may not want to hear about a new analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, that finds that his administration has approved nearly $5 trillion in new borrowing.

“We estimate the Biden Administration has enacted policies through legislation and executive actions that will add more than $4.8 trillion to deficits between 2021 and 2031, or nearly $2.5 trillion when excluding the effects of the American Rescue Plan,” the group says in a new blog post. “This is on top of the trillions of dollars we were projected to borrow before President Biden took office.”

The CRFB, a nonprofit that advocates for deficit reduction, says the $4.8 trillion total consists of $4.6 trillion in new spending, about $500 billion in tax cuts and breaks and some $700 billion in added interest costs all of which is partially offset by about $1 trillion worth of spending cuts and revenue gains. (See the chart below for more details.)

“Of the non-interest deficit increases, about $3 trillion is from legislation – including a net $1.6 trillion passed on a partisan basis and $1.4 trillion passed on a bipartisan basis. Another $1.1 trillion comes from executive actions,” the group says. It adds that the new borrowing approved under Biden is less than the $7.5 trillion added to the deficit under former President Donald Trump, but much more than the $2.5 trillion enacted at this point in Trump’s term.

In a withering Washington Post opinion piece accompanying the new analysis, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas blasts Biden’s claims of fiscal responsibility. “After 19 months and $4.8 trillion in new debt, Biden has done far more to add to our deficits than address them,” she writes. “He can claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility all he wants. The math tells a different story.”