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Thursday, August 26, 2021
CNS' Jeffrey Still Quick To Blame Biden -- And Give Trump A Pass -- For Deficit Spending

We've documented how editor and supposed deficit hawk Terry Jeffrey had no interest in blaming Donald Trump or a Republican-controllwed Senate for growing deficits through 2020, but now that a Democrat holds the presidency, he's way too happy about highlighting deficits being added under their watch. He complained in a July 13 article:

The federal government set new records for taxing and spending through the first nine months of fiscal 2021 (October through June), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Federal taxes hit a record $3,056,078,000,000 while federal spending climbed to a record $5,294,027,000,000.

The resulting deficit of $2,237,949,000,000 was the second highest ever for the first nine months of the year, falling below the $2,892,260,760,000 deficit (in constant June 2021 dollars) that the federal government ran in the first nine months of fiscal 2020.

There was no metion of Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate that played a key role in racking up deficits from 2017 to 2020, or of the pandemic that has required such expenditures.But Jeffrey made sure to illustrate his article with a file photo of President Biden and Nancy Pelosi.

Jeffrey used his July 15 column to complain about how much money the federal government has been spending per capita over the past century, serving up snapshots of each decade. For the 2000 budget, Jeffrey was loath to credit Bill Clinton, who was president at the time, for a reduction in per capita spending, so he made sure to also that "Republicans controlled both houses of Congress." For his summary of spending in 2020, Jeffrey acknowledged Trump but refused to explicitly blame him, instead making the pandemic the villain -- and then, of course, explicitly blame Biden and Pelosi for additional deficit spending:

In 2020, when Donald Trump was president and the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the federal government, according to the OMB, spent $6,550,396,000,000 (or $6,837,699,370,000 in June 2021 dollars). That equaled $19,762.89 in unadjusted dollars and $20,629.70 in constant June 2021 dollars for each of the 331,449,281 in the United States, according to the Census Bureau.

It can be argued that the particularly large increase in per capita federal spending from 2010 to 2020 is a one-time anomaly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, in fiscal 2019, federal spending was $4,446,956,000,000 (or $4,705,658,450,000 in constant June 2021 dollars), which worked out to $14,336.05 for each of the 328,239,523 people the Census Bureau estimated were in the United States that year.

But the $14,336.05 in real per capita federal spending in fiscal 2019 is still more than 18 times larger than the $779.58 per capita spending of 1920.

The latest Congressional Budget Office analysis of the economic outlook estimated that, "if current laws governing taxes and spending remained unchanged," federal spending would hit $7,415,000,000,000 in fiscal 2030.

Given that the Census Bureau estimates the national population will be 355,101,000 in that year, per capita federal spending would then hit $20,881.38 — without COVID-19 or any new spending programs from President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Jeffrey's Aug. 11 article on the latest federal spending numbers followed July's pattern:

The federal government set a new record for the amount of taxes it collected through the first ten months of fiscal 2021 (October through July), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Total federal tax receipts were $3,318,078,000,000 for the period.


Federal spending in the first ten months of this fiscal year was the second highest it has ever been (in constant July 2021 dollars).

However, this year’s October-through-July spending of $5,858,078,000,000 was not only the second highest in the nation’s history, it was $1,892,368,690,000 higher—or 47.7 percent higher—than the then-record $3,965,709,310,000 (in constant July 2021 dollars) that the federal government spent in the first ten months of fiscal 2019, which was the last full fiscal year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Again, as usual, no mention of Trump or Republicans, and Jeffrey as found a different file photo of Biden and Pelosi to illustrate it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EDT

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