The Committee for a Responsible Budget (CRFB) released a new analysis showing that former president and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump‘s fiscal policies added twice as much to the national deficit as President Joe Biden‘s.

According to the Washington think tank CRFB, the Trump administration borrowed a total of $8.4 trillion during the former president’s time in office, while the Biden administration borrowed $4.3 trillion.

Excluding the pandemic relief measures, the debt increase ratio remains 2-to-1, with Trump adding $4.8 trillion in non-pandemic fiscal debt and Biden adding $2.2 trillion.

Since the first and second quarters of 2020, U.S. debt has increased by more than $3 trillion, rising steeply in recent years compared to pre-pandemic levels, and currently totaling $34.5 trillion.

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“The next president will face huge fiscal challenges,” said CRFB president Maya MacGuineas. “Yet neither candidates have track records of approving trillions in new borrowing even setting aside the justified borrowing for Covid and neither has proposed a comprehensive and credible plan to get the debt under control.”

Aside from Covid-19 relief spending, the primary drivers for higher public debt under the Trump administration were the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which caused $.19 trillion in additional borrowing, bipartisan spending packages adding $2.1 trillion, and changes to the Affordable Care Act.

For Biden, major non-Covid-19 factors include 2022 and 2023 bills totaling $1.4 trillion, student debt relief adding $620 billion, the Bipartisan Infrastructure law, appropriation bills and legislation supporting veterans’ healthcare, which together added around $520 billion.

Biden’s deficits have also increased due to executive actions, including changes to food stamp benefit calculations, expanded Medicaid benefits and other adjustments, totaling $548 billion.

According to the CRFB, Republicans primarily added to the national debt through bipartisan legislation, while Democrats did so more through executive actions.

Of the Trump administration’s debt additions, 77% were due to bipartisan legislation, while 23% resulted from bills and actions with little to no bipartisan support.

In comparison, 29% of the additional debt under the Biden administration came from bipartisan laws, while 71% resulted from unilateral decisions.

Both parties are currently contemplating various revenue-raising measures in anticipation of Trump’s tax cut laws, set to expire by the end of 2025. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that fully extending these cuts would increase deficits by $4.6 trillion over the next decade.

Parties are also now setting boundaries on the scope and nature of tax code changes, with key Democrats and Republicans on financial and tax-writing committees outlining their visions for the future direction of U.S. revenue policy.

“No president is fully responsible for the fiscal challenges that come along,” said MacGuineas, “But they need to use the bully pulpit to set the stage for making some hard choices.”

Higher interest rates increase the taxpayer burden on both existing and new debt compared to the era of near-zero interest rates.

Additionally, the Social Security fund is projected to deplete by 2033, potentially triggering significant cuts in retirement benefits without Congressional intervention.

According to the CRFB, the winner of November’s election will confront a challenging fiscal outlook, marked by escalating debt levels amid already high interest rates and increasing demographic pressures on retirement programs.

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