Republicans Pretend to be Worried About National Debt Again

Yup, it’s about that time.

This story from The Washington Post about President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team caught our attention for the ridiculous but altogether predictable move from Congressional Republicans to suddenly pretend to be worried about the national debt again:

President-elect Joe Biden’s choice of economic advisers highlights a commitment to spend whatever is needed to restore a full-employment economy, setting up a clash with Senate Republicans who are sounding alarms over a national debt they helped President Trump increase by nearly $7 trillion…

…Indeed, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), slated to chair the Senate Budget Committee if Republicans maintain control of the upper chamber, told reporters after the Nov. 3 election that he wants to “finally begin to address the debt.”

Likewise, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said he expects to focus next year on curbing spending on entitlement programs, adding: “I think that’s kind of getting back to our DNA. … I think spending, entitlement reform, growth and the economy are all things that we’re going to have to be focused on.”

Top Democrats scoff at Republicans’ renewed debt fears after years of their support for Trump’s budget-busting policies. In 2017, for example, every Republican senator voted in favor of the president’s signature tax cut, which added $1.9 trillion to the debt, according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. [Pols emphasis]

This is an absurd but of political theater that happens every time a Democrat is elected President of the United States: Republicans start clutching their pearls, aghast that the federal government actually cashed all of the ridiculous checks that they signed over the last four years.

Let’s see, which party was in charge here?

As Chuck Jones wrote for Forbes in September, the national debt is on track to increase more in four years of the Trump administration than in EIGHT years under President Obama:

In Trump’s first three years the deficit increased from $585 billion in fiscal 2016 to $984 billion in fiscal 2019, up 68%, for a total of $2.4 trillion. If the coronavirus had not hit this years deficit was on-track to be $1.1 trillion, per the Congressional Budget Office or CBO, which would then make Trump’s first four years deficits total $3.5 trillion. At $1 trillion or more this would have been the largest budget deficit in history with a growing economy and the largest as a percentage of GDP outside of recessions or World War II.

The numbers don’t lie, even if Republicans will.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. NOV GOP meltdown says:


    Go Donald Trump  !

    MAGA !

    Deficits don't matter

    Own the libs !


    Who ?

    America is in decline !

    Spending is out of control !!!

    This is liberal overreach !


    • RepealAndReplace says:

      But what about her e-mails!

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Referencing Chuck Jones from Forbes, some conservatives do have their shit together, besides The Bulwark and the Lincoln Project. Couple years ago, Forbes provided economic charts showing that the pre-pandemic Trump economy was merely an extension of the Obama economy.

      • harrydoby says:

        I believe Forbes were referring to the continuing growth in the economy and employment, which was true, despite Trump’s attempts to bring world trade to a halt with tariffs on friends and foes alike. Not to mention cutting off foreign students getting advanced degrees from our universities, thus rejecting our net brain gain that has fueled some of our most successful and innovative companies over the last century.

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    I'll believe Republicans are serious about the debt when they recommend going back to the tax program of the last period when deficits were $0 — which I believe was in 1998 and 1999.

    I'd believe Republicans are serious about the debt when they are willing to initiate a deal offered by Democrats before:  $1 in cuts for $1 for tax increases.

    I'd even think it might be worthwhile to hear testimony and consider the idea of a reverse sequester — cut $1 somewhere in domestic spending or entitlement for a cut of $1 in military spending or corporate welfare.

    I consider any of those scenarios far fetched.

  3. Duke Cox says:

    Perdue and Loeffler are full blown criminals, for sure. Public service just ain’t their thang (…in Ga. vernacular). My sister and two brothers live near Atlanta. They are all Democrats.

    I will check in with them from time to time to see what is happening on the ground there. 

    The Lincoln Project would do well to go after EVERY Republican senator, with a vengeance. And, every Trumplican© needs to write in Trump for Senate.

  4. Gilpin Guy says:

    Question:  How do you know that a Republican has lost the election.

    Answer: They are suddenly ULTRA CONCERNED about the national deficit.

  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    If a righteous Republican talks about how horrible the deficit is then we can talk about the need for tax reform.  It's past time to repeal the Trump and Bush tax cuts and stop subsidizing the wealthy.  Don't let him talk about the one without acknowledging the other.

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