We’re Running Out Of Money
Published July 15, 2019 / Updated July 21, 2020

We’re Running Out Of Money

The CBO estimates that the U.S. deficit will hit a **trillion dollars** by 2022

by Chris Thomas

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Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Remember when the Trump administration cut taxes for the upper 1% and promised that the tax cut would pay for itself? The exact words uttered by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were:

The plan will pay for itself with growth

Remember when literally everyone who’d managed a C or better in an economics class saidno, it won’t?”

Guess what.

That’s right, the U.S. budget deficit is rocketing straight up, soaring an ear-popping 23.1% over the same period just a year ago. The CBO estimates that, at the current pace, the U.S. deficit — the amount our government spends in excess of what it takes in each year — will break into trillion dollar territory by 2022.

So poorly planned is this fiscal charade that the Treasury Department is now warning that the government may run out of money before it can get the Congress back from its fall recess. This will set up yet another debt ceiling showdown between the Democratic House and the Trump Administration, possibly just in time for the third set of Democratic Presidential Debates, which are scheduled for early September.

What can I do?

While the way the debt limit works is objectively stupid, in this case, it means that the financial half-wits who are responsible for this mess have to come crawling back to Congress to beg for money. That gives the Democratic House considerable leverage — leverage which can be used to force concessions from the Senate and White House if the Democrats are willing to make and stand by their demands. They could insist on an end to the migrant concentration camps, call for good-faith testimony from White House aids claiming “absolute immunity,” or any number of other items on the progressive wish list.

But in so doing they’ll be inviting Republicans to paint them as ideologues who want to put those issues before the day-to-day business of running the country. It’s a huge risk and they’ll only do it if they face enormous pressure from their constituents to take that risk.

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