Politics

Biden touts efforts to reduce the federal deficit, says they will improve the economy

President Biden on Wednesday touted his efforts to reduce the federal budget deficit, saying his economic plans would further pay down the national debt by creating jobs and reduce the cost of household goods such as prescription drugs and utility bills.

“Let me remind you again: I reduced the federal deficit,” Mr. Biden said in remarks from the White House. “All the talk about the deficit from my Republican friends — I love it. I reduced it by $350 billion in my first year in office. We are on track to reduce by the end of September by $1.5 trillion, the largest drop ever.”
 
The speech comes as Mr. Biden seeks to revive his more than $1 trillion spending bill to expand the social safety net and push climate initiatives. However, the bill has stalled amid opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat.

Although Mr. Biden didn’t mention his Build Back Better plan by name, he highlighted several initiatives that were included in the original spending bill.
 
However, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the trillions of spending Mr. Biden has proposed will add billions to the deficit over the next few years.

For example, the CBO said Mr. Biden’s infrastructure package, which passed into law last year, will add $256 billion to the deficit.
 
The Build Back Better bill would add nearly $750 billion to the federal deficit over the next five years and roughly $165 billion over the next decade, the CBO said.
 
At the start of Mr. Biden’s presidency, the federal deficit was a record $3.13 trillion, which is more than triple the $984 billion at the end of 2019 and double the previous record of $1.4 trillion in 2009, according to the CBO.

At the end of 2021, the federal deficit totaled $2.77 trillion for the second-highest deficit on record, though it was down largely because the government was spending less to counteract the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19. 

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