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EDITORIAL: Biden deficit surpasses $1 trillion in just half a year

President Joe Biden remains at sea over why Americans aren’t enamored of his economic policies. Perhaps it’s because they’re worried about eventually drowning in all that red ink.

Mr. Biden has presided over the largest non-war or pandemic spending binge in this nation’s history. Inflation — which he and his economic advisers never saw coming — hit a 40-year high as a result, leading to soaring consumer prices virtually across the board. Inflation numbers have fallen and stabilized of late, but the sticker shock remains for most families trying to get by while dealing with persistently higher costs.

The president gamely tries to pass himself off as a deficit hawk, but spending continues unabated. Mr. Biden recently proposed a $7 trillion annual budget. To put this in perspective, Washington spent $3.8 trillion in fiscal 2013.

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the deficit over the first six months of fiscal 2024 — just half a year — had reached $1.064 trillion. The Wall Street Journal noted that federal tax revenues over the same period were up a healthy 7 percent. “The problem isn’t a shortage of tax revenue,” the paper observed.

Who ever thought that budget watchdogs would be longing for a return to the days of $500 billion deficits?

To combat rising prices triggered by Bidenomics, the Fed has steadily raised interest rates, meaning Americans now pay much more to borrow money. Mortgage rates have doubled, making it more expensive to buy a home. Credit card debt has risen for nine straight quarters, Business Insider reports, and Americans now owe a record $1.2 trillion on credit cards. Higher interest rates make it more difficult for borrowers to attack principal balances.

They also threaten to overwhelm legitimate spending priorities. The CBO reported that interest payments on the national debt — now rushing toward $35 trillion — hit $440 billion over the first six months of fiscal 2024, exceeding what the nation spent on defense. Interest payments taxpayers must make to service the federal debt their elected officials have run up jumped 43 percent from last year.

“Interest is projected this year to be the second-largest federal program — it means your tax dollars are going to interest instead of going to everything else,” Marc Goldwein, senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told CBS News.

Mr. Biden can take credit for healthy job growth. Yet there’s a reason that a recent RealClearPolitics polling average reveals that nearly 58 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy. Many respondents certainly understand that this administration is leading the nation down an economic path that has created hardship for consumers and is economically unsustainable.

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