U.S. Borrowed $2.6 Trillion in Calendar Year 2021

The United States borrowed nearly $2.6 trillion in calendar year 2021, including $20 billion in December, according to the latest Monthly Budget Review from the Congressional Budget Office. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

The federal government has borrowed over $4 billion per day for the last 3 months. Last calendar year, the government borrowed $2.6 trillion, the equivalent of $7 billion per day. Some of this borrowing was needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t make our massive debt levels any less concerning.

Debt is about as large as the economy, while inflation is the highest it’s been in 30 years and interest rates are expected to start rising. Borrowing for the pandemic made sense but adding further to the deficit now would weaken the economy, not strengthen it.

Whether for further pandemic relief, Build Back Better, or discretionary spending bills, policymakers need to pay for new initiatives. And sooner rather than later, they need to come together to get our fiscal house in order.

It’s a new year, offering new opportunities to get serious about our nation’s finances. It’s time to put away the credit cards.


For more information, please contact Kim McIntyre, director of media relations, at mcintyre@crfb.org.