In 2022, President Biden and a Democrat-controlled Congress oversaw a massive increase in the national debt of approximately $11,374 per worker, as noted by Terry Jeffrey in an op-ed in Townhall

As Jeffrey notes, at the end of 2021 the federal debt was about $29.62 trillion. At the end of 2022, the federal debt was about $31.42 trillion. Thus, in the calendar year 2022, the federal debt increased by about $1.8 trillion. With approximately 158,470,000 employed in the United States, the debt was raised by $11,374 per worker. That’s enough for every worker to purchase a Hermes Birkin handbag, one of the most expensive available. 

This should prompt all Americans to ask themselves the following question: in 2022, did the government provide me any service worth $11,374? If not, what was the government spending all of this money on? Did it just throw taxpayer dollars into a pit and set it on fire? Well, kind of. 

In 2022, the Biden administration passed a wasteful reconciliation bill, oversaw reckless uses of COVID-19 funds, and repeatedly extended its moratorium on student loan payments. 

Democrats’ reconciliation bill spent hundreds of billions of dollars on woke, wasteful spending.

At a time of record-high inflation, Democrats’ so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” contained roughly $500 billion in new spending—$400 billion directed towards funding “clean energy.” 

This bill contained funding for countless, puzzling spending items including the following

  • $1.9 billion to solve “gaps in tree canopy coverage”
  • Improving the walkability of “regional greenways”
  • $1 billion for electric garbage trucks and school buses
  • $3 billion for zero-emission USPS mail trucks
  • Department of Energy grants issued on the basis of race/minority concentration in community 
  • $3 billion “climate justice” slush fund for progressive activists
  • $7,500 tax credit for luxury electric vehicles and $4,000 previously-owned electric vehicle credit
  • Subsidies for “energy-efficient” doors and windows

This bill also included the supersizing of the Internal Revenue Service, providing a whopping $80 billion in additional funding to hire an army of 87,000 new agents. This funding is both a misuse of taxpayer funds and is spending that will eventually be weaponized against the American people via increased audits. 

COVID funding was wasted on luxury hotels and spas, ballparks, and ski slopes.

According to a 2022 Associated Press investigation, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars went to a new luxury hotel and spa in Florida, ski slopes, renovations to the New York Yankees’ stadium, and numerous other non-coronavirus-related spending projects.

These expenditures were funded by the $350 billion in state and local relief passed by Democrats within the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. AP lists out several other examples of spending projects: 

  • $400 million to build new prisons in Alabama, accounting for nearly one-quarter of the total aid the state will receive through the program.
  • Tens of millions of dollars for tourism marketing campaigns in Puerto Rico ($70 million), Washington, D.C. ($8 million) and Tucson, Arizona ($2 million). The city of Alexandria, Virginia, also announced it would spend $120,000 to give its tourism website a makeover. 
  • $6.6 million to replace irrigation systems at two golf courses in Colorado Springs. 
  • $5 million approved by Birmingham, Alabama, to support the 2022 World Games. The event features niche sporting contests such as DanceSport, korfball and flying disc. 
  • $2 million to help Pottawattamie County, Iowa, purchase a privately-owned ski area. 
  • $300,000 to establish a museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, honoring Major Taylor, a famed Black bicycle rider from the turn of the 20th century known as the “Worcester Whirlwind” who died in 1932. 
  • New Jersey allocated $15 million for upgrades to sweeten the state’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup.  

The $350 billion state and local slush fund is not the only case of wasteful COVID spending. As the Heritage Foundation notes, 40% of pandemic unemployment benefits, or $357 billion, went to people who weren’t actually unemployed. As a result, the federal government’s improper payments rate surged from 2.9% in 2019 to 7.1% in 2021.

The Biden administration repeatedly extended its student loan payment pause, primarily aiding wealthy elites.

The Biden administration extended the moratorium on student loan repayments throughout the entirety of 2022. This policy has already cost taxpayers roughly $155 billion and costs an additional $4 to $5 billion each month it is extended. 

This policy is particularly wasteful because it primarily benefits those Americans who certainly do not need handouts.  

The top 20 percent of households currently hold $3 in student loan debt for every $1 of debt held by the bottom 20 percent of earners. About 75% of student loan repayments come from the top 40 percent of earners, as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget notes. The median income of households making active payments on their student loans was $76,400, with just 4% of these households being below the federal poverty line.

One survey back in October by asked student loan borrowers how they intended to spend the money from Biden’s student loan “relief” plan. They surveyed 1,250 student loan borrowers. The survey lists shocking key findings: 

  • 73% of applicants say they are likely to spend their extra money on non-essentials, including vacations, smartphones, drugs/alcohol 
  • 77% of applicants say they could use money more wisely 

This out-of-control level of spending is dangerous—it leads to inflation and, eventually, interest costs will take up a significant portion of yearly spending. 

In 2020, the federal government spent over $6 trillion. Similarly, in 2021, the federal government spent $6.82 trillion, accounting for about 30% of the economy. In 2022, the federal government spent $6.27 trillion. The national debt has now exceeded $31 trillion. The U.S. already holds over $246,000 of debt per taxpayer.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that U.S. interest costs will triple within the next decade, accounting for 12% of the entire federal budget. Under current policies, the cost of the federal government’s interest expenses could reach $1 trillion a year. In 2021, U.S. interest payments on its debt alone cost roughly $2,600 per household. 

Eventually, the federal government’s responsibility to pay growing interest costs will leave it incapable of paying for basic government duties. Of course, the government could continue to borrow money to pay its interest costs, throwing the nation into a dangerous cycle. 

Due largely to inflation, excessive government spending cost Americans far more than it helped in “benefits.” President Biden’s policies have cost the average American family about $7,100 in inflation and higher interest rates, according to a report by the Heritage Foundation. 

So, to answer the original question, the government spent $11,374 per worker largely on ineffective climate subsidies, spas and ski slopes, and handouts to wealthy elites. I wonder how many would rather have a Birkin bag instead?