Federal government's annual deficit keeps growing

McHenry County Response

The books are closed for the federal government's fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2021. The Treasury Department announced the deficit for the year was $2.8 trillion. The "good news" is that this amount (the second highest in history) is down $360 billion from the deficit for the previous year.

So, what's behind the numbers? Obviously, much of the deficit in both years can be attributed to "pandemic" spending by the federal government. This included the Paycheck Protection Program, the Employee Retention Credit, enhanced unemployment benefits, and a host of other new spending programs.

With the improved economy in 2021, following the lock downs in 2020, the federal government's tax receipts increased by 18 percent from $3.38 trillion to $4.0 trillion.

Unfortunately, spending increased by 4 percent from $6.54 trillion to $6.8 trillion. When the federal government spends $2.8 trillion more than it collects in revenues, it borrows that amount from future generations - our children and grandchildren.

And unfortunately, with the Democrat party's penchant for spending more than they can justify in new taxes, the federal government's growing debt problem (currently at $28.98 trillion) is only going to get worse.