Commentary

Big Government Biden

By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 17, 2022 | 6:25am EDT
President Joe Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act on August 16, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act on August 16, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

In the first 18 full months that Joe Biden has been president — February 2021 through July 2022 — the federal government has spent $9,728,646,000,000, according to data published in the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Even when the historical spending numbers are adjusted for inflation into July 2022 dollars (using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator), no recent president comes close to having spent that kind of money in their first year and a half in office.

President Donald Trump spent $7,274,266,740,000 in July 2022 dollars in his first 18 full months. President Barack Obama spent $7,166,360,490,000. President George W. Bush spent $4,835,392,120,000. President Bill Clinton spent $4,287,553,940,000. President George H.W. Bush spent $3,705,774,660,000. President Ronald Reagan spent $3,123,980,640,000.

It is true that the United States is a more populous country now than it was in July 1982, when Reagan completed his first 18 full months in office, but federal spending has grown significantly faster than the population.

The $3,123,980,640,000 in July 2022 dollars that the federal government spent during Reagan's first year and a half equaled approximately $13,485 for each of the 231,664,000 people who, according to the Census Bureau, were living in the United States in July 1982.

The $9,728,646,000,000 that the federal government spent during Biden's first year and a half in office equaled approximately $29,229 for each of the 332,838,183 people who were living here this July.

In Trump's first 18 months, per capita spending was approximately $22,234 in July 2022 dollars. In Obama's first 18 months, it was approximately $23,168. Under George W. Bush, it was approximately $16,811. Under Clinton, it was approximately $16,470. Under George H.W. Bush, it was approximately $14,855. Under Reagan, it was approximately $13,485.

Biden is the spending champion of American presidents — both in total overall spending and per capita spending.

But that is not his only achievement. He has also been collecting record taxes.

In the first 10 months of this fiscal year (October 2021 through July 2022), which will be Biden's first full fiscal year in office, the Treasury collected a record $4,104,725,000,000 in total taxes.

Since February 2021, Biden's first full month in office, the Treasury has collected $6,962,684,000,000 in total taxes. That is more than it collected in the first 18 months under Trump, Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton, George H.W. Bush or Reagan.

The total tax collections during Biden's first 18 months are also the most per capita when compared with those other presidents.

In Reagan's first 18 months, the Treasury collected $2,821,848,240,000 in total taxes in July 2022 dollars. That equaled approximately $12,181 for each of the 231,664,000 people living in the United States in July 1982.

The $6,962,684,000,000 in total taxes that the Treasury collected in the first 18 full months of Biden's presidency works out to approximately $20,919 for each of the 332,838,183 people in this country in July.

In Biden's first 18 months, the Treasury collected $8,738 more in per capita taxes than it did in Reagan's first 18 months.

Yet despite the record taxes the Biden administration is collecting, the administration is still running a deficit.

According to the data published in the Monthly Treasury Statement, the federal government ran a cumulative deficit of $2,765,962,000,000 from February 2021 through July 2022.

The only president who ran a bigger deficit in his first 18 months was Obama, whose cumulative deficit hit $2,975,995,260,000 in constant July 2022 dollars in the period from February 2009 through July 2010.

The $2,765,962,000,000 deficit that Biden has run in his first year and a half in office equals approximately $8,310 for each of the 332,838,183 people in this country.

This week, Biden signed a 730-page bill that Democrats in Congress called the Inflation Reduction Act. Not one Republican voted for it.

In his speech at the bill signing ceremony, Biden placed a heavy emphasis on climate change.

"I am about to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law, one of the most significant laws in our history," said Biden.

"The American people won and the special interests lost," he said.

"The Inflation Reduction Act invests $369 billion to take the most aggressive action ever, ever, ever, ever in confronting the climate crisis and strengthening our energy security," said Biden.

"This new law also provides tax credits that's going to create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and clean-energy manufacturing jobs," he said. "Solar factories in the Midwest and the South, wind farms across the plains and off our shores, clean hydrogen projects and more. All across America. Every part of America.

"This bill is the biggest step forward on climate ever, ever," he said, "and it's going to allow — it's going to allow us to boldly take additional steps toward meeting all of my climate goals — the ones we set out when we ran."

Indeed, the Senate-passed text of this so-called Inflation Reduction Act includes the terms "greenhouse gas" and "greenhouse gases" a combined 138 times.

If there is anything emitting gas these days, it is the man in the Oval Office.

(Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com.)

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