Policymakers Dig Hole $1.2 Trillion Deeper in 2015

With debt already around its highest level as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) other than around World War II and estimated to grow with no end in sight, the least one could have hoped for from lawmakers would be to stop digging the hole deeper. But 2015 proved even that low bar to be too lofty a goal. Instead, 2015 will go down as a banner year for fiscal irresponsibility, when policymakers worked across party lines to add nearly $1.2 trillion to the debt over the next ten years, digging the hole ever deeper.

By far the largest contributor was the year-end deal on tax extenders, which was rolled together with the must-pass omnibus spending bill. The tax cut portion of the deal cost a total of $680 billion before interest, and the spending side included about $35 billion in spending gimmicks. The unpaid-for "Doc Fix" deal from April also significantly increased deficits, adding about $140 billion before interest over ten years. Take a look below at everything else policymakers did this year to add to the debt.