national debt

Will a Republican President Make Any Difference?

According to their branding, they want a balanced budget, but where is the evidence that the GOP is committed to that goal?

During President Obama’s first term, their rhetoric gave the voters the impression (intentionally) that the GOP is committed to reducing spending and thus lowering the debt. We certainly had some showdown over the debt ceiling that assumed the Republican Party was so committed (though oddly, the spending had already been approved by congress).

Once the Republican Party gained control of the Senate and a larger majority in the House of Representatives, suddenly, everything changed so that, with full cooperation from Republicans, the national debt is set to grow to $30 trillion in a decade.

This was brought home recently by a headline at the Daily Signal: “Kids Born in 2016 Hold $42,000 in Public Debt.”

Out of control spending drives national debt to unsustainable levels and the government knows it. The recently published 2017 fiscal year House Congressional Budget Resolution even features a chart titled “Spending is the Problem.”

So where is Congress? They are doing the spending that they warn about!

But Congress needs to practice what it preaches. The very same document proposes spending $57 billion more on discretionary programs than what Congress proposed to spend on this budget category last year.

Time and again legislators fail to take their own advice to reduce spending. Instead they put off serious budget solutions while the national debt balloons.

But it was never “advice.” Surely by now we can figure out that warnings about spending and debt are solely intended as propaganda to associate the Republican Party with fiscal conservatism. When have they shown that is anything more than rhetoric?

Will a Republican President make any difference?

If Donald Trump was to become president, he claims he will repay the entire national debt if he gets to serve two terms. Here’s someone back-pedaling on that preposterous idea.

The structural tax reform sounds good, but I’ll be amazed if we see a significant reduction is the growth of the national debt.

What about Ted Cruz ?

Ted Cruz has a better history of opposing over-spending, but it is difficult for me to trust he will follow through as president. He has made promises regarding Israel and the Middle East that virtually guarantee war. Military spending is always claimed to be for national security concerns and thus is always presented as a legitimate reason to delay spending cuts.

The most amazing example of this was seen in Donald Rumsfeld’s press conference on September 10, 2001:

Every newborn is burdened with $42,000 of debt. And the GOP is committed, heart and soul, to making that number go up.

We have to always have a slush fund in case Israel or some other “ally”—fellow oligarchs to our oligarchy—wants American blood and treasure for their local problems. There will always be an excuse for military operations with their black box spending and the support of lobbying by corporations that profit at taxpayer expense. Meanwhile, welfare spending will continue to skyrocket. The unsustainable entitlements are bribes to get the people to look the other way.

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Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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