America Now Borrowing a Whopping $5 Billion a Day, as Interest Costs Surpass Defense and Medicare Spending

America’s debt is ‘only four years away from reaching a record share of the economy,’ the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says, and interest costs are ‘soaring past our defense budget this year.’

AP/Mary Altaffer
The national debt clock at Manhattan on May 25, 2023. AP/Mary Altaffer

The Biden administration borrowed a stunning $1.2 trillion in the first eight months of fiscal year 2024, leading to calls for lawmakers to act quickly before the country’s fiscal situation spirals even further out of control. 

The most recent monthly budget review from the Congressional Budget Office, released on Monday, indicates that May’s budget deficit was $348 billion, $108 billion more than the same month last year. 

“With only four months left in the fiscal year, the United States has borrowed $1.2 trillion, a shocking $4.9 billion per day on average,” the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Maya MacGuineas, said in a statement regarding the most recent numbers. “Clearly, we need to figure out our fiscal situation soon, before things get more out of control.” 

A report last month from the committee found that spending on net interest alone is more than the government spends on defense or Medicare. 

“Overall spending has totaled $3.9 trillion thus far,” that report found, noting that interest is the fastest growing part of the budget and is expected to reach $870 billion by the end of fiscal year 2024. 

“Spending on interest is also more than all the money spent this year on veterans, education, and transportation combined,” the analysis stated. 

The debt is so much that it is “only four years away from reaching a record share of the economy,” Ms. MacGuineas said, noting that interest costs are “soaring past our defense budget this year.” 

If the fiscal spiral doesn’t turn around soon, retirees receiving Social Security will face “potential across-the-board cuts to their benefits,” she says. The first step to correcting the country’s fiscal path is by “putting a stop to any new borrowing and working together to reduce the deficit,” Ms. MacGuineas adds. “Our fiscal house is barreling down an unsustainable path and we must act fast before tomorrow’s problems become today’s.” 

The new borrowing figures come as the International Monetary Fund’s deputy managing director, Gita Gopinath, urged America’s leadership over the weekend to rein in spending, as economists warn that this year will be critical for the country to start turning around its ballooning debt.

“For the U.S., we see ample ground for them to reduce the size of their fiscal deficits, also given the strength of the US economy,” she said in an interview with the Financial Times. “The temptation to finance all spending through borrowing really is something that countries should avoid.”

The New York Sun

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