The monthly federal budget deficit was up 562 percent from September of last year, according to Treasury Department figures released Friday, mainly due to President Joe Biden's student debt forgiveness plan.
The deficit specifically jumped in the last month of fiscal year 2022, the Associated Press reported, because of Biden's plan to forgive student loans for millions of Americans, which the Penn Wharton Budget Model projects will cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion.
Biden on Friday praised his administration for lowering the total deficit to $1.4 trillion since last year, though the Congressional Budget Office attributed the decrease to the ending of pandemic-era spending and an increase in income taxes. Biden continues to claim that "our economy is strong as hell" as inflation soars and a recession looms.
"The entirety of the decline in the deficit between 2021 and 2022 can be attributed to the expiration of temporary COVID relief, not due to a renewed era of fiscal responsibility," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in a statement Friday. "In fact, the deficit would have been almost $400 billion lower had the Biden administration not decided to enact an inflationary, costly, and regressive student debt cancellation plan in August."