U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after the U.S. Treasury Department announced that government borrowing this year will be $1.34 trillion, more than double the amount from 2017. The Department expects to issue $425 billion in debt from October through December covering a widening budget gap caused “primarily” by the 2017 McConnell-Ryan tax law. This marks the highest level of borrowing since 2010, when the country was still emerging from the Great Recession.
Donnelly said, “Last year, Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan pushed through an irresponsible and partisan tax law that exploded our deficit to benefit the wealthy and big corporations. Now, they want to pay for it by cutting Medicare and Social Security, which more than one million Hoosier seniors depend upon. We cannot balance the budget on the backs of our seniors, and I’ll continue opposing any effort that jeopardizes the benefits they have earned.”
Earlier this month, in an interview on Bloomberg TV, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed concern about the deficit and then called for ‘reforms’ to entitlements including Medicare and Social Security, matching comments from House Speaker Paul Ryan last December.
According to data from the Treasury Department, the budget deficit widened to $779 billion for the 2018 fiscal year, which ended September 30. That matches data from earlier this year, when analysis from the CBO projected that the federal budget deficit would reach $1 trillion by 2020, two years earlier than previously expected, and that federal debt will rise to nearly 100% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2028, which would be the highest debt level since just after World War II. According to the CBO, these adjustments are due “primarily” to the partisan McConnell-Ryan tax law from late 2017.
Donnelly has repeatedly introduced a Balanced Budget Amendment, which would ensure responsible budgeting, while also protecting working- and middle-class families, seniors, and the economy. It would exempt the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds so long as they remain solvent.