The United States borrowed a record amount of money during the first quarter of the year according to new numbers released by the Treasury Department yesterday afternoon.
To fully appreciate the significance of that, I think you have to put it into perspective.
From USA Today:
WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department announced Monday that the government borrowed a record $488 billion in the January-March quarter, but officials expect borrowing needs will decline sharply for the current April-June quarter.
Treasury said that actual borrowing in the first quarter exceeded the old record of $483 billion set in the first quarter of 2010, a period when the country was struggling to pull out of a deep recession and prop up the financial system following the 2008 financial crisis.
It is truly quite insane that we're surpassing records set during the Great Recession and financial crisis at a time when we have a growing economy and no crisis.
A lot of different policies can be factored into this number, from the increased costs of health care the GOP has fostered by repealing the individual mandate and canceling cost-sharing reduction payments to the increased amount we're spending on defense, but the primary factor is the GOP's $1.5 trillion tax cut. It will not pay for itself.
Given that we're setting new records without a financial crisis, it makes me wonder what the next crisis could look like. I also wonder if the next crisis will be dumped at the feet of the next president just like it was for President Obama.