The “King of debt” strikes again.
In spite of his promise to wipe out the national debt, President Trump just outed Republicans for their actual lack of concern about the national debt when they are in power, reportedly telling aides he doesn’t care about the national debt in part because when it really blows up, he’ll be out of office.
Reporting in The Daily Beast, Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay wrote that sources close to Trump say he has “repeatedly shrugged it off, implying that he doesn’t have to worry about the money owed to America’s creditors—currently about $21 trillion—because he won’t be around to shoulder the blame when it becomes even more untenable.”
Senior officials tried to explain the looming problem to Trump using charts and graphics, they report, including “showing a ‘hockey stick’ spike in the national debt in the not-too-distant future,’ but in response the Republican President noted that it would come to a head when after his second term in office and thus didn’t matter.
“Yeah, but I won’t be here,” Trump said to a source in the room.
And there you have it.
When Obama was in office, Trump and elected Republicans regularly trolled him over the deficit and debt, with Republicans shutting down the government in a pearl clutching moment over an issue that they do not seem to give a care about now:
Over $1T in annual deficit spending and adding over $6T to the debt for what? May jobless numbers are horrendous. The great Obama recovery.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2012
Dick Cheney famously admitted that “deficits don’t matter” as he and Bush drove them up and Republican Orrin Hatch said it was “standard practice not to pay for things” in the Bush era.
Representative Mark Walker (R-NC) said the deficit was “a great talking point when you have an administration that’s Democrat-led.”
So deflated is the deficit hawk cloak.
In Trump‘s second year in office, the budget deficit ballooned to $779 billion, due to both higher spending and drop in tax revenue, thanks to Trump‘s corporate welfare tax cuts that did not, it turns out to no one’s surprise, result in adding high paying jobs.
The deficit is set to hit $1 trillion in 2019. When President Obama left office, the deficit was at $666 billion.
The deficit is the annual difference between what the government spends and revenue generated, whereas the debt is the total amount of money the government owes. The debt is basically the accumulation of past deficits, minus any surpluses.
The national debt is above $20 trillion and interest payments on it have increased by $50 billion so far this year. Over the past half century, interest has averaged 2 percent of GDP, according to CRFB. “The fastest growing part of the federal budget is interest on the debt – payments made to service previous borrowing. While interest had already been projected to rise rapidly, the recent tax and budget deals will significantly accelerate that growth. As a result, our latest estimate finds interest costs will almost quadruple between 2017 and 2028 in dollar terms and reach their highest share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in history.”
CNN Money reported in March of this year, “Interest payments on US debt could quadruple to an eye-popping $1.05 trillion by 2028 if current policies stay in effect. That would be 3.6% of the entire American economy, according to new estimates from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscal watchdog group.”
Trump promised to balance the budget as well, but now that’s nothing but a sick bumper sticker burn.
The “King of debt” (aka, Tariff Man) doesn’t care that he’s burning America to the ground, because he won’t be here to take the heat for it when it happens. But he sure is reaping the tax benefits of his corporate, wealthy tax cut theft from our revenues.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.