Here’s How Much Federal Spending Must Be Cut to Balance the Budget

Since the time of Newt Gingrich (R.-Ga.), we haven’t had a balanced federal budget in more than 20 years. Is it possible to see a balanced budget once again?

Although theoretically feasible, it would require drastic spending cuts.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has done an analysis and found that “to achieve balance in a decade all spending must be cut by approximately one-quarter… the required cuts would increase to 85 percent if defenses, veterans, Social Security and Medicare spending are not on the table.”

The analysis concluded that these cuts would be so severe that it would be necessary to eliminate all nondefense appropriations as well as the entire Medicaid program to achieve balance.

Related: What’s In and What’s Out of the $858 Billion Defense Budget

The outlook is not good. These projections are purely academic as they do not include budget projections for next ten years, or any information about the policies that will be proposed. After 9/11, despite having four years of balanced budgets in Newt Gingrich’s administration, government spending exploded. Although spending did decrease during the Bush administration, it rose again after the financial crisis and the historically high spending of Barack Obama. Joe Biden maintained the trend of spending too much. He proposed a huge $6 trillion budget for 2022 in his first year of office. This was largely due to spending on left-wing social programs.