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Archive for July 14th, 2022

Back in May, I pointed out that it is absurd for Joe Biden to claim credit for lower deficits. This Reason video elaborates, noting that red ink is (temporarily) falling solely because the orgy of pandemic spending is ending.

Serious budget people, regardless of their ideology, know this is true.

Almost everything Biden has done since taking office has expanded the burden of government.

For instance, he pushed through a so-called stimulus scheme, followed by a boondoggle-filled infrastructure plan.

Both of which are captured in this chart from Brian Riedl.

By the way, it would be better if the chart focused on how the spending burden has increased. After all, deficits should be viewed as the symptom. The real disease is excessive government.

That being said, either type of chart would look far worse if Biden had been able to convince Congress to approve $trillions of additional spending as part of his “build back better” proposal.

One final point is that Biden also has added to the fiscal burden of government with the pen-and-phone approach.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Biden has added $532 billion of extra spending via executive orders and other unilateral decisions.

P.S. I have no doubt Trump and many other politicians of both parties also would be taking credit for falling deficits if they were in Biden’s position. After all, politicians are probably the least ethical people in the nation. And Washington brings out the worst of the worst.

P.P.S. There is a risk that a slimmed-down version of Biden’s “build back better” plan is being resuscitated. That would be bad news for the economy. Not as bad as the original version, to be sure, but it’s crazy to enact anti-growth proposals with the economy teetering on the edge of recession (especially since some of the specific provisions are so misguided).

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