Economy

Federal Deficit Expected to Top $1 Trillion This Year

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It took President Obama two terms to get the federal budget under control without blowing up the safety net or making other dramatic cuts, but Trump and the GOP have managed to wreck everything in just one fiscal year.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that the federal deficit will reach $1.12 trillion in fiscal 2019 which begins on October 1st of this year.

That number actually increased by about $30 billion this month alone because of the GOP's demands for reopening the federal government following a brief shutdown.

The committee had previously projected the deficit - the difference between the government spending and its annual tax revenue - would reach $983 billion in fiscal 2019. That estimate came after Congress in December passed a tax overhaul that will add about $1.5 trillion to the national debt over a decade.

But that estimate was made obsolete by a shutdown-averting stopgap funding bill Congress approved earlier this month. It delayed the implementation of some healthcare taxes, further reducing the government’s projected tax revenues.

In other words, Republicans ballooned the deficit yet again with another fucking tax cut for people who don't need it. The continuing resolution that reopened the federal government delayed the so-called "Cadillac tax" for rich insurance policies by two years.

You could be fair and say costly natural disasters that occurred in 2017 can't be blamed on Trump and congressional Republicans, but this is just the beginning. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget also estimates the federal deficit will top $2 trillion by 2027 under current policy and economic baselines and that feels like a very conservative estimate to me. Natural disasters are going to keep happening and there appears to be growing confidence that the economy will see a recession in late 2019 or 2020.

It's the long-term projections that should worry everyone because it means we have no money to do anything else of significance. This isn't about deficit hysteria, it's about lacking the ability to invest in the future.

Trump is probably going to call for big spending programs and increased military spending during his State of the Union Address, but there's no money for any of that and there will be no money for future congresses or another presidents to work with.

There's no doubt in my mind that absent Republican obstruction in Congress throughout most of his two terms, President Obama would have handed the next president a budget surplus. Republicans would have squandered that, too.

  • muselet

    The Party of Fiscal Responsibility, ladies and gentlemen.

    –alopecia

  • 1933john

    It’s all about the BIG BUCK$
    available in SS and Medicare.

  • ninjaf

    You could be fair and say costly natural disasters that occurred in 2017 can’t be blamed on Trump and congressional Republicans,

    I disagree. They are all climate change deniers. These disasters likely wouldn’t have been so devastating had we started mitigating the damage we are doing decades ago.

    • I’d up this a thousand times if I could.

  • Aynwrong

    We’re back in 2008, desperately hoping that September never arrives.

  • gescove

    Without a doubt – just look at transportation funding alone. Republicans blocked Obama’s efforts to pass a nearly $500B infrastructure bill which would have created thousands of jobs and addressed our crumbling highways and bridges. All paid for by a minuscule surtax on millionaires and billionaires and ensuring corporations paid on profits they were stashing overseas. Republican governors repeatedly thumbed their noses at projects that were poised to pour billions of Federal dollars to their states: Christie refused construction of a critical tunnel; Scott refused $2B for high speed rail; and Walker also refused $1B for high speed rail. I mean, WTF?

    • Badgerite

      Walker is making noises now about making it illegal under Wisconsin law for insurance companies to drop someone from coverage for a pre-existing condition. Must be re-election time. Problem is, that that will have no effect on actual coverage. Insurance companies will simply jack up premiums to unaffordable levels and then kick the insured off of their policies because they couldn’t afford the coverage.
      Wisconsin turned down a high speed rail system between Milwaukee and Madison ( that would have been a boon to this state) because the state would be responsible for future maintenance bills. But he has no problem putting the state on the line for tens of billions to dollars for decades as well as road projects and local subsidies for a Fox Com plant to employee people from Illinois. Sounds like a plan.