GOP and Trump put deficit on back burner

Giant infrastructure plan, major tax cut on the agenda — and so is a huge increase in the debt.

 

A serious case of fiscal amnesia may soon be sweeping the GOP.

 

For eight years, Republicans hammered President Barack Obama for exploding the national debt. But now a GOP-led spending spree is coming, with Donald Trump riding to the White House on trillion-dollar promises and a Republican Congress that looks likely to do his bidding. It’s a potential echo of the last time Republicans ran Washington, when then-Vice President Dick Cheney memorably remarked, “Deficits don’t matter.”

Trump campaigned heartily on a spending splurge and nothing he’s said since his shocking election suggests he will reverse course. Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, are papering over divisions with the man who frequently tossed party orthodoxy aside on the trail.

 

“There is now a real risk that we will see an onslaught of deficit-financed goodies — tax cuts, infrastructure spending, more on defense — all in the name of stimulus, but which in reality will massively balloon the debt,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

 

The non-partisan group estimated Trump’s campaign proposals would increase the national debt by a whopping $5.3 trillion over the next decade. That would make the debt as a share of the economy rise from nearly 77 percent to 105 percent, a potentially dangerous level for the government.

 

Not all of the promises Trump made on the trail will be enacted, of course, but even just a few would mean a flood of red ink. A top Trump priority — major infrastructure spending — is one of them.

 

 

Denis G Campbell View more

Denis G Campbell
Denis G. Campbell is founder and editor of UK Progressive magazine and co-host of The Three Muckrakers podcast. He is the author of 7 books and provides Americas, EU and Middle Eastern commentary to the BBC, itv, Al Jazeera English, CNN, CRI, MSNBC and others. He is CEO of Monknash Media and a principal with B2E Consulting in London. You can follow him on Twitter @UKProgressive and on Facebook.

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