Trump’s Budget Would Explode Federal Debt. Again.

Trump’s Budget Would Explode Federal Debt. Again. March 13, 2019

Trump promised that he would eliminate the federal debt — not the deficit, but the cumulative debt — but he has done the exact opposite. His new proposed budget, even by its own admission, would instead lead to a massive increase in both the deficit and the debt. How big? How about 50% higher?

In March 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump told The Washington Post he could eliminate the entire U.S. debt in eight years. Now that he’s president, Trump is doing the exact opposite.

Trump’s budget — his own budget — projects debt held by the public will hit $22.8 trillion by 2025, more than 50 percent higher than the year he took office. (Debt held by the public was $14.7 trillion in 2017.)

That’s the rosy forecast. Trump’s budget relies on “gimmicks” to keep the debt rising by “only” that much, experts across the political spectrum say. Trump predicts the economy will grow at a home-run pace with no recessions for the next decade, and he proposes massive cuts to education, health care and other nondefense parts of the budget that will not be enacted.

“The president makes heroic assumptions about economic growth and deep cuts to domestic discretionary spending and health care, and yet he still can’t balance the budget,” said Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and former chief economist for Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

In many ways, this is actually the longstanding pattern of Republicans in office. They sell themselves as fiscal conservatives and promise to reverse the profligate spending of those damn Democrats, but when they govern they do the exact opposite. They inevitably increase “defense” spending massively and simultaneously cut taxes for the wealthy at the cost of hundreds of billions, at least, in federal revenue.

Now folks, this is really, really basic math. A smart 7 year old should be able to answer this question: What happens if you increase spending and decrease revenue? You get a bigger deficit. And yet year after year, voters fall for it. We’re way beyond Lucy yanking the football away from Charlie Brown here. At this point, you kind of have to be an idiot to think anything different is going to happen.

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