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Federal Debt Equals Roughly $287,859 Per Income-Tax-Paying Household

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National Debt Clock
National Debt Clock

The Biden administration wants to increase any taxes they can get their grubby hands-on, and CNS News explains why: because they need it. In an analysis, CNS writes about how as Congress “worked in recent days to increase the legal limit on the federal debt, the Treasury kept that debt artificially frozen at approximately $28.9 trillion, where it stood at the beginning of this week.”

With the limit lifted, the federal debt will increase, “then keep steadily climbing, constantly increasing the burden on future taxpayers.” Here’s the analysis:

In 2018, according to the last complete annual report on individual income tax returns published by the Internal Revenue Service, there were 100,424,240 households in the United States that filed what the IRS calls a “taxable return.” “The taxable and nontaxable classification of a return for this report is determined by the presence of ‘total income tax,'” explained the IRS.

“‘Total income tax,'” it said, “was the sum of income tax after credits.”

In other words, the 100,424,240 households that filed a “taxable return” in 2018 actually paid income taxes to the federal government.

If you divide the $28,908,004,857,445 in debt that the federal government owed before the debt limit was liftedby the 100,424,240 American households that paid net income taxes in 2018, it works out to approximately $287,859 per income-tax-paying household.

In order to understand the magnitude of what this means, CNS compares numbers to 1989:

The year that President Ronald Reagan left office, there were 89,178,355 income-tax-paying households in the United States, according to the IRS. At the end of January that year, the federal debt was $2,697,957,000,000.

That means the federal debt then equaled approximately $30,253 per income-tax-paying household.

Even when the January 1989 federal debt of $30,253 per income-tax-paying household is adjusted into November 2021 dollars (using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator), it equals only approximately $69,437.

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Economy

Inflation Spiked 7% Past Year, Highest Since 1982

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With a 7% spike from last year, inflation has increased at its fastest pace in 40 years. On Wednesday, the labor department reported its measure of inflation “that excludes volatile food and gas prices jumped 5.5% in December, the fastest such increase since 1991. Inflation rose 0.5% overall from November, down from 0.8% the previous month” reports the Associated Press.

National Review reports “the consumer price index, a major inflation gauge, for all items surged 0.5 percent for the month and 7.0 percent for the last twelve months ending in December, representing the largest annual spike since June 1982, when inflation hit 7.1 percent.”

Housing prices and used cars and trucks contributed the most weight to the all items surge. But prices for cars, gas, food and furniture all rose sharply as part of a rapid recovery from the pandemic recession, “that was fueled by vast infusions of government aid and emergency intervention by the Fed, which slashed interest rates.”

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Tuesday, warning monetary policy is constrained in its power to curb inflation by the current “era of persistently low interest rates.” Ordinarily, the Fed can hike rates to slow down an overheating economy.

“Recovering from the pandemic, the economy has rebounded well but a bit too fast for many moving parts to catch up to, Powell noted, as supply chains still struggle to meet demand across consumer sectors, resulting in inventory shortages on store shelves and prolonged shipping delays” reports National Review.

“The economy has rapidly gained strength despite the ongoing pandemic, giving rise to persistent supply and demand imbalances and bottlenecks, and thus to elevated inflation. We know that high inflation exacts a toll, particularly for those less able to meet the higher costs of essentials like food, housing, and transportation,” said Powell.

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Economy

Biden Calls On FTC To Investigate Oil Companies Over Rising Gas Prices

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Gas Prices

President Biden has called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate oil and gas companies over rising fuel prices, suggesting that the companies may be engaging in illegal conduct that results in the rising prices – despite Biden consistently enacting policies that restrict the domestic production of oil since entering office.

“I am writing to call your attention to mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies,” the letter said. “The bottom line is this: gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil and gas companies’ costs are declining. The Federal Trade Commission has authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so immediately.”

The letter added, “prices at the pump have continued to rise, even as refined fuel costs go down and industry profits go up. Usually, prices at the pump correspond to movements in the price of unfinished gasoline, which is the main ingredient in the gas people buy at the gas station. But in the last month, the price of unfinished gasoline is down more than 5 percent while gas prices at the pump are up 3 percent in that same period. This unexplained large gap between the price of unfinished gasoline and the average price at the pump is well above the pre-pandemic average. Meanwhile, the largest oil and gas companies in America are generating significant profits off higher energy prices.”

Gas prices have reached their highest level since 2014, and are currently about 50% higher than they were when Biden entered office.

“U.S. gasoline prices in October averaged $3.38 per gallon while U.S. oil prices averaged $81.48 per barrel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “The last time U.S. gas prices reached similar levels in October 2014—$3.25 per gallon—U.S. oil prices were $81.40 per barrel. U.S. oil production sharply increased since last year to about 11.5 million barrels per day, according to the EIA, but is still well below pre-pandemic levels of around 13 million barrels per day.”

The letter comes after the Biden administration confirmed that it is considering shutting down an oil pipeline in Michigan, which would place further pressure on fuel prices to rise.

“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”

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