Treasury Reports $1.5 Trillion Deficit For First 11 Months of Fiscal Year

The United States borrowed $1.5 trillion in the first eleven months of fiscal year 2023, including an $89 billion surplus in August due to the reversal of President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan, according to the latest Monthly Treasury Statement from the Treasury Department.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

Today’s Treasury report is a stark reminder of how unsustainable our fiscal picture really is. It is bad enough that the deficit is $1.5 trillion so far this fiscal year – or $4.6 billion per day – but that figure actually understates the real amount we’ve borrowed this year. Excluding the President’s student debt cancellation, which was overturned by the Supreme Court in June, we’re on track to borrow double the amount we borrowed last year.

Furthermore, due to the recent bout of high inflation and rising interest rates to fight it, we’ve now spent more than $630 billion on interest this fiscal year. That’s $1.9 billion per day just servicing our massive national debt. 

With just two and a half weeks left to prevent a government shutdown, policymakers should take stock of our fiscal situation when determining how to move forward with government funding. At the very least, they should not undermine the hard-won deficit reduction in the Fiscal Responsibility Act and instead budget within the discretionary spending caps enacted by the law.

If we’re ever to get ourselves back on track, we’ll need a return to discipline and accountability among our nation’s leaders. Further, substantial fiscal reforms are needed – via regular order or a bipartisan commission – to put the debt on a downward sustainable path and prevent the nation’s trust funds from exhausting their reserves. A deficit this large is just another reminder of the sizable challenges we face. As our lawmakers return to town, they might consider dealing with this fiscal mess rather than continuing to fight and possibly shut the government down. 


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