President Joe Biden lashed out at Republicans on Monday, calling them “fiscally demented” while speaking at the National Action Network’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast.
“We’re making this progress at the same time, reduced the deficit,” Biden asserted, according to a report from The Hill. “You know, we’re gonna talk about big-spending Democrats again? Guess what? I reduced the deficit last year $350 billion. And this year? The federal deficit’s down $1 trillion-plus dollars. That’s a fact. And there’s gonna be hundreds of billions reduced over the next decade. These guys are fiscally demented, I think. They don’t quite get it.”
Biden was apparently referencing a decline in the budget deficit from $3.1 trillion in fiscal year 2020 to $2.7 trillion in fiscal year 2021, followed by another decrease to $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2022, as indicated by data from the Office of Management and Budget. The commander-in-chief nevertheless failed to mention that the deficit reductions followed stimulus packages greenlit by lawmakers in reaction to the lockdown-induced recession; the most recent $1.4 trillion budget deficit substantially exceeds shortfalls recorded in the years before the lockdowns.
Contrary to his claim that “hundreds of billions” will be removed from the deficit over the next decade, spending packages approved by Biden will contribute more than $4.8 trillion in new deficit spending between 2021 and 2031, according to an analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Removing the effect of the American Rescue Plan, a stimulus package approved soon after Biden’s inauguration, implies $2.5 trillion of new deficits.
Biden has repeatedly claimed that his actions have been beneficial to the taxpayer.
“On my watch, things have been different. The deficit has come down both years that I’ve been in office,” he commented last year. “And I just signed legislation that’s going to reduce it even more in the decades to come. Now Republicans in Congress are doubling down on their commitment to explode the deficit again. Just this week, Republican leaders said if they get their way, they’re going to extend the Trump tax cuts, which are due to expire in a couple years.”
An analysis from the Government Accountability Office likewise concluded that the fiscal year 2021 budget deficit was the “second largest in history,” while the previous deficit was the largest. “These historically large deficits were due primarily to the economic disruptions caused by COVID,” the auditing agency continued, “and the additional spending by the federal government in response to help the nation recover from the pandemic.”
The Bipartisan Policy Center also noted in a report that the fiscal year 2023 deficit would be impacted by the bipartisan omnibus spending bill, which increased discretionary spending by approximately 10%. Efforts from the Federal Reserve to decrease inflationary pressures are also expected to widen the deficit as interest rates increase.
Republican lawmakers, who now control the House of Representatives, have promised to reconsider federal spending priorities. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) condemned deficit spending under the Biden administration in a recent statement provided to The Daily Wire.
“Over the last two years, we have seen America’s debt crisis grow substantially as President Biden and his Democrat allies in Congress have increased federal spending by $10 trillion,” he remarked. “I urge President Biden and Majority Leader Schumer to follow past precedent and work with House Republicans to find a commonsense, bipartisan path to putting America on a more sustainable fiscal trajectory and meet our debt obligations. The American people deserve a government that is accountable and an economy that is strong.”
Ben Zeisloft contributed to this report.