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Commentary By Brian Riedl

2022 Chart Book Examines Spending, Taxes, and Deficits

Economics Tax & Budget

The Manhattan Institute’s Brian Riedl has released the 2022 edition of his book of charts examining the federal budget, spending, taxes, and deficits. The 128-page chart book begins by broadly examining the rising budget deficits and national debt—well beyond the temporary recession deficits—and then dives deeper to show the policies driving the $114 trillion in new deficits projected over the next three decades (and how the picture worsens if interest rates rise further). Next, the chart book tallies the costs of common spending and tax proposals and determines whether those costs can be offset by proposed tax increases and defense cuts. The report also provides a full accounting of President Biden’s fiscal record thus far. Finally, it examines trends in tax revenues and tax progressivity, common budget myths, and offers a full accounting of the fiscal records of Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump.

The charts also update the 10-year budget baseline for legislation enacted between June and October 2022—which the Congressional Budget Office has not done yet.

These charts—most of which rely on publicly-available data from the Congressional Budget Office, Office of Management and Budget, Census Bureau, and U.S. Treasury—nevertheless defy conventional wisdom about spending, taxes, and deficits. Examples of charts include:

  • In Just 20 Months, President Biden Added $4.8 Trillion to 10-year Deficits (p. 11)
  • Individual Income Taxes in 2022 Shattered Records as a %GDP (p. 14)
  • How Did Washington Go from Budget Surpluses to Escalating Deficits? (pp. 26–27)
  • What Happened to the 2011 BCA Spending Caps? (pp. 32–33)
  • Rising Social Security & Medicare Shortfalls Drive Nearly Entire 2019-32 Deficit Rise (pp. 40–44)
  • What is Driving CBO’s Projected $114 Trillion Deficit over 30 Years? (pp. 52–58)
  • Why the Deficit Could Top $3 Trillion Yet Again Within a Decade (p. 66)
  • Each 1% Interest Rate Rise Adds $30 Trillion (or 45% of GDP) to 30-Year Debt (p. 69)
  • A Menu of Tax Increase Options With 10-Year and Long-Term Estimates (pp. 74–75)
  • Does the U.S. Have the OECD’s Most Progressive Tax Code? (p. 103)
  • Is it Possible that the 1980s Defense Build Up Paid for Itself? (p. 110)
  • What Really Caused the 1990s Budget Surpluses? (p. 111)
  • The Comprehensive Bush Budget Record (pp. 113–114)
  • The Comprehensive Obama Budget Record (pp. 115–122)
  • The Comprehensive Trump Budget Record (pp. 123–128)

The chart book is available for download here.


Brian M. Riedl is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_Riedl.