The Republican Party used to at least pay lip service to fiscally responsible notions like, oh, say, balancing the budget, cutting spending along with taxes, that kind of thing. Now it’s more of a laugh line (depending on how mordant your sense of humor is). Indeed the GOP seems to have parted ways with its last remaining link to the party’s traditional core values, raising the question of what exactly it stands for anymore, if anything. Veronique de Rugy lays out the party’s betrayal of its central organizing principle in typically inarguable fashion in The Hill. And rarely has anyone so deserved a rhetorical bludgeoning…
- Problems? We’ve got a few. The sourpusses at the Office of Budget Management estimate that the deficit will soon pass $1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000). OMG.
- This is due in large part to the GOP’s failure to cut spending, even when the party was in control of both houses of Congress. In fact, overall spending has risen 22% under Trump, de Rugy notes.
- The new budget deal is a true travesty, scrapping spending caps agreed by the Congressional GOP with Obama in 2011. Over ten years that will equal $1.7 trillion in new spending.
- The GOP also disregarded White House budget director Mike Mulvaney’s proposal for a one-year spending freeze, which would have put the onus on the Democrats for pushing the government into default if they refused the deal.
- Though de Rugy is too kind to perseverate on the subject, the GOP definitely has to own this because of the Trump tax cuts, which were never accompanied by commensurate reductions in spending. Tax cuts without spending cuts = more debt! Simple!
- Solutions? We already know what they are, but de Rugy kindly reviews them for us: cut discretionary spending, including the DoD; reform entitlements including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; return responsibility for education and transportation to the states; and cut subsidies to business (including most programs under the Department of Commerce).
- And there you have it! De Rugy’s full blistering excoriation is available here.
- A parting shot from the editor: if the GOP abandons fiscal responsibility (and its other actual principles) it risks simply becoming the party of nativist reaction by default. Thence, doom for party and country alike. Especially when the other side is more batshit then ever.