Who adds to the federal deficit?

Both political parties do

Source: https://amarkfoundation.org/us-federal-deficits/

The $4.8 trillion of borrowing approved by the Biden Administration is less than the roughly $7.5 trillion President Trump added to the deficit over his term ($4 trillion excluding COVID relief), but much more than the $2.5 trillion President Trump had enacted at this point in his term.

This $4.8 trillion is the net result of roughly $4.6 trillion of new spending, roughly $500 billion of tax cuts and breaks, and $700 billion in additional interest costs, partially offset by $400 billion of spending cuts and $600 billion of revenue-increasing policies. Of the non-interest deficit increases, about $3 trillion is from legislation – including a net $1.6 trillion passed on a partisan basis and $1.4 trillion passed on a bipartisan basis. Another $1.1 trillion comes from executive actions.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Imagine if Americans were willing to pay for all they want and believe they deserve. Imagine if we paid for all spending not necessary for serious national emergencies.


  1. The national debt GREW under every administration! Don’t get caught up with the political spin of increasing/decreasing the deficit spending amount. Clinton & Republican was a 1 year anomaly where spending was actually less than income. All other years government spent more than what they took in.


  2. I appreciate the effort to put together the statistics showing the changes to the deficit under each administration since Reagan but I don’t agree with the assessment you make that they both do in answer to the question ‘who adds to the federal deficit’. Clearly a look at the chart you present shows the deficit grew under each Republican admin and fell under the Democratic admin., so while I accept the premise that currently Biden is continuing to grow the deficit it is only two years in and he was left a real shithole of circumstances to clean up so I will give him the next two years to see where we are then. Trump claims he did everything perfect but the reality is he gave wads of money to the moneyed class and the so called trickle down effect as usual goes nowwhere in helping to bring the poor up. So now Biden has to try to bring taxes back up on the wealthy and corporations and still grow the economy a tough task but I believe it is working we have full employment and even though we will see some uptick in the unemployment numbers we are still showing very decent corporate profit and I believe we will see good balance of payment figures from our foreign trade and good income from payroll taxes such that by the end of his four years we will have a small positive effect on the deficit number.


    1. I was under the impression that presidents of both parties added to the deficit but that chart implies differently. Then I tried looking at the world events under their presidencies such as recessions or wars that could have influence spending. Then, I had to look at the make up of Congress under each president. The republicans had control of Congress under Clinton and came up with the Contract with America. How much did that do to force balance budgets? I would need more non-bias research before giving anybody credit for reducing deficits.

      Everybody forgets that the President asks for money, but it is Congress that authorizes the spending. If anything, Congress should get all the blame. The President can only sign budget bills that are placed on his desk.

      However, I will blame us, We the People, for demanding freebies and vote buying that has resulted in deficit spending over the decades. There hasn’t been a balanced budget out of Washington since 1998. The Balance Budget Amendment was proposed in 1997. Do you think that had something to do with a balance budget for 1998?

      The Balance Budget Amendment did not become law.


  3. Imagine if Americans didn’t want a lot of the deficit spending and had to pay for it anyway. That is the predicament we’re in now. I was fooled by G.W.Bush and his miserable 8 years and then got Obama for 8 years of nothing better and then Trump comes along and says he doesn’t care about the spending. Add Biden and it’s 22 years of misery strung end to end and 2 more years of Biden yet to go. Our money is being turned into Zimbabwean currency.


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