Treasury Deposits $118 Billion Bailout in Highway Trust Fund

Treasury Deposits $118 Billion Bailout in Highway Trust Fund

January 14, 2022  | Jeff Davis

The Treasury Department’s official report on Highway Trust Fund finances for December 2021 is now out, and it shows that the $118 billion bailout transfer from the General Fund authorized by the bipartisan infrastructure law has finally gone through. By our estimate, this leaves the Trust Fund with a total balance of $136 billion in securities and cash at the start of the calendar year.

When combined with official outlay totals from the Monthly Treasury Statement, we estimate that the Trust Fund’s $3.8 billion in net tax receipts for December were exceeded by $4.0 billion in outlays, but that $240 million balance reduction was just a drop in the bucket compared to the $118 billion general fund transfer, which should keep the Trust Fund solvent though 2026.

We look forward to seeing revised projections of future Trust Fund cash flow once the President submits a budget for 2023 and once the Congressional Budget Office releases an annual baseline, but the appropriations and reconciliation bill talks are taking so long, we have no idea when that will be.

Highway Trust Fund, December 2021 (Billions of Dollars)
Highway Mass Transit Combined
Account Account HTF
Beginning-of-Month Balance 11.081 6.950 18.031
New Tax Receipts +3.304 +0.473 +3.777
Interest/Penalties +0.003 +0.001 +0.004
GF Transfer +90.000 +28.000 +118.000
Outlays -3.337 -0.684 -4.021
End-of-Month Balance 101.051 34.740 135.791
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