Treasury Confirms $39 Billion Deficit in January
February 10, 2023
The Treasury Department released its latest Monthly Treasury Statement today, confirming that the United States borrowed $39 billion in the month of January and $460 billion since the beginning of fiscal year 2023.
The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:
Today’s Treasury numbers confirm that, when it comes to unsustainable borrowing, our nation is quickly reverting to type. In just the first third of the fiscal year, we’ve already borrowed $460 billion, or $3.8 billion per day.
The President recently told the nation in primetime that his forthcoming budget “is going to cut the deficit by another $2 trillion.” We look forward to seeing such a proposal given the nearly $2 trillion in new borrowing approved by Congress and the Administration last year alone. If true, such a pivot is urgently needed.
However, any honest reflection on the state of our union must also include a concrete, actionable plan to address our major trust funds teetering on the edge of insolvency. Members of both parties cheered the exclusion of Social Security and Medicare from any changes. Here are the facts: such a “do-nothing” plan would see a typical couple retiring in 2035 receiving a $12,000 to $17,000 cut to their Social Security benefits, while payments to hospitals from Medicare will be cut by 10 percent if nothing is done to prevent insolvency by 2028. And the longer we wait, the more drastic the changes we will ultimately need to make.
If we truly want to address our fiscal situation – as we should – policymakers should put all their cards on the table, abandon their demagoguing, and come together for the good of the American people. That means everything – Social Security, Medicare, and tax revenue included – should be part of the conversation in putting our nation’s finances on a sustainable path.
“…the United States borrowed $39 billion in the month of January and $460 billion since the beginning of fiscal year 2023.”
So the US borrowed $421 billion for the first 6 months of fiscal 2023, an average rate of $70.2 billion per month. Isn’t $39 billion in January’23 a 44% reduction in borrowing? Is the government starting to get their spending under control?
Federal fiscal year starts on October 1st. Six months would end on March 31st. I do not know how the debt ceiling limit is currently affecting the sale of treasury bills. In the past when the US was at its debt limit all sales of US bonds stopped. This might be part of the creative action that the Treasury talked about to extend the debt ceiling to June, that is slowing down the sale of bonds by creative accounting and or taking money from various budget items that will have to be funded later in the year. So, is it really a 44% reduction or Treasury playing games?
If you go to the USDebtClock.org, which get’s its data from government sources, the US is still spending about $4,320,000 more per day than the taxes collected by the US. Until those numbers get reversed, our debt will continue to grow.
“Here are the facts: such a “do-nothing” plan would see a typical couple retiring in 2035 receiving a $12,000 to $17,000 cut to their Social Security benefits, while payments to hospitals from Medicare will be cut by 10 percent if nothing is done to prevent insolvency by 2028.”
There is a conflict of two laws here. One law says people are entitled to those benefits. Another law says the trusts cannot spend money they do not have. Until Congress amends one or both laws, this doesn’t get resolved.
So, you could end up in the situation where people are owed money, but not paid in a timely fashion. That is, in the example, the couple whose entitlement is $17,000 would be paid $12,000 and OWED $5,000 – another deficit.
If Congress is serious about leaving alone or fixing Medicare and Social Security, I believe that they should pass a laws that if either program has automatic cuts dues to their trust funds being depleted, that their pay would automatically stop.