February’s federal budget deficit was the largest ever on record, according to figures released by the Treasury Department Friday. President Donald Trump promised during his campaign that he would balance the budget in eight years.
The total debt surpassed $22 trillion for the first time ever in February — $2 trillion higher than when Trump took office.
The massive shortfall is being attributed to a 20 percent drop in corporate revenue and increased federal spending. The Trump administration slashed corporate taxes in his new 2017 tax law from 35 percent to 21 percent. Trump’s tax-cut package cost the government $1.5 trillion.
“When you pass the most irresponsible tax cut followed by the most irresponsible spending increase, unsurprisingly it leads to the largest deficit numbers,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told The Washington Post. “Predictably, that’s exactly where we landed.”
The deficit for the first five months of the federal fiscal year is $544.2 billion, up nearly 40 percent from the same period the previous year, according to Treasury figures.
The budget gap was $234 billion in February alone, which surpassed the earlier monthly record of $231.7 billion seven years ago, according to an analysis of data by Bloomberg.
Total spending was $401 billion in February while the government took in just $167 billion.
Corporations have so far this fiscal year paid $59.2 billion in taxes, compared to $87.4 billion at this point ini 2017 before Trump’s tax law was enacted.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Congress last month that the federal debt matters — it’s growing faster than the gross domestic product —and the nation must address the issue.
Money owed is eating up an increasing share of the GDP. The budget deficit’s share of the GDP is expected to increase to 5.1 percent this year, up from 3.8 percent a year ago, according to projections from the White House Office of Management and Budget.
At this rate, the national debt could be on track to hit 93 percent of GDP in a decade.