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Commentary

Trump Continues Republican Hypocrisy on Fiscal Responsibility



Fueled by Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts and large spending increases, the government announced that the federal budget deficit ballooned a whopping 17 percent to $779 billion in 2018.

This deficit has added to a national debt that now boggles the mind at $21.6 trillion. Yet the government, which is entirely run by a Republican Party that still rhetorically touts its fiscal prudence, keeps piling a heavier burden on the nation’s children and grandchildren, who cannot vote and may not even be born.

Yet, the party of fiscal responsibility always tells us that budget cuts are being identified. For example, Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s secretary of the Treasury, recently announced that President Trump had “proposals to cut wasteful spending” that would eventually restore fiscal sustainability.

But if history is any guide, most of these proposed spending cuts will never get passed, resulting in the accumulation of debt as Trump’s tax cuts continue. Even if you don’t count the spending increases, Trump’s tax cut, passed in 2017, will add almost to $2 trillion to the national debt.

Normally, when the economy grows, less money needs to be spent on social safety net programs and tax revenues bulge, reducing the deficit. But in this case, tax revenue has languished, spiking the deficit.

The problem in the long run has been that the Republican Party is no longer the party of Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Dwight Eisenhower, but the one of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.



Ivan Eland is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute. Dr. Eland is a graduate of Iowa State University and received an M.B.A. in applied economics and Ph.D. in national security policy from George Washington University. He spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues, including stints as an investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office.


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