The U.S. government has borrowed $475 billion so far into fiscal 2022, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.
The Monthly Budget Review released by the nonpartisan Capitol Hill office shows the federal government ran a $216 billion deficit in February alone.
"In the first five months of this fiscal year, we borrowed an average $3 billion per day," Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said in response to the numbers. "Faced with today's challenges and record-high inflation, policymakers can't keep heading down this unsustainable path."
The U.S. ran a deficit of about 2.8 trillion last fiscal year, slightly less than the record $3.1 trillion from the previous fiscal year.
MacGuineas also acknowledged that last month's deficit figures are slightly lower than those in February 2021 but attributed the differenced to COVID-19 relief funding winding down.
"While February’s deficits are lower than this time last year, the fall largely reflects the end of one-time COVID relief, not an improvement in our underlying fiscal outlook," she said.
"The Federal Reserve will soon decide whether to increase interest rates as one tool to curb inflation, but there are also things lawmakers can do while improving our long-term finances. They should put in place gradual changes that reduce spending, raise revenue, and put this country on track to better financial footing."
The U.S. national debt is currently over $30 trillion.
"The emergency borrowing and spending put in place to fight COVID-19 was necessary then, but not now. As COVID-19 measures diminish and our economy continues to gain strength, it is important to take stock of our fiscal situation by prioritizing and paying for programs that make sense," MacGuineas also said.