Do you remember when Republicans were champions of smaller, leaner, less expensive government? Neither do we.
While there still are some members within GOP congressional ranks and no Democrats who claim to be budget misers, the fact remains that under subsequent Republican majorities between 2010 and 2018, the national debt increased an eye-popping $7.9 trillion.
And this after complaining for years that Barack Obama and Democrats were spendthrifts.
Okay, they were (Obamacare comes immediately to mind as do dramatic expansions of Medicaid and food stamps under No. 44). But Republicans ought to have done more while they had control of both chambers to reduce outlays and start weaning the federal government off the beleaguered taxpayer.
As CNS News reported:
At the close of business on Jan. 4, 2011, the day before the Republicans took control of the House, the debt was $14,014,049,043,294.41, according to the Treasury.
On Jan. 3, 2019, the last day before the Republicans turned control of the House back to the Democrats, the debt closed at $21,929,258,046,653.58.
So, under the Republican House majorities in four Congresses, the debt climbed $7,915,209,003,359.17.
That works out to approximately $989,401,125,420 per year, or $2,710,688,015 per day, or $112,945,334 per hour, or $1,882,422 per minute.
In fact, under the Republican-controlled House, the federal debt increased at an average rate of $31,374 per second.
Republicans are sure to defend themselves by claiming that for the majority of that time, Obama was president. Granted, Obama’s signature on spending bills was always required before they could become law.
But as CNS News‘ Terrence P. Jeffrey reminds us, “the Constitution says, ‘No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.’ And no law may be enacted unless it passes the House.”
GOP leaders voted and passed every one of the spending bills during their recently-ended majority tenure. And they signed off on all of them since POTUS Trump became president (as did he).
Now, the 24/7/365 news cycle being what it is and giving all of us a short attention span, it’s worth noting that the president’s first budget contained two campaign promises: 1) An increase in military spending to rebuild a force badly neglected during the Obama years; and 2) Drastic cuts just about everywhere else.
It had no chance of passage.
The Wall Street Journal noted in March 2017:
President Donald Trump called for sharp cuts to spending on foreign aid, the arts, environmental protection and public broadcasting to pay for a bigger military and a more secure border in a fiscal 2018 budget blueprint released Thursday.
The budget proposal is certain to run into stiff opposition in Congress, where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have already signaled they are unlikely to enact Mr. Trump’s deep cuts when they pass spending bills that actually fund the government.
And indeed, a final version of his first bill contained no cuts, only more spending and none of the president’s priorities, as the Washington Times reported:
Blasting the bill he was about to sign for unnecessary spending, not fixing DACA and not fully funding a border wall, Mr. Trump demanded changes to Congress’ rules in order to make progress on vital issues.
The president put a lot of the blame for that $1.3 omnibus spending bill on Democrats, but again, he was the one who signed it and the Republican majority made sure it got to his desk (POTUS’ first instinct was to veto it and let the government shut down).
Between the rising national debt and the federal government’s unfunded mandates and other entitlement obligations, the clock is ticking on U.S. solvency. If we go bankrupt, the entire global economy will fail.
Congress can’t kick the can down the road forever. — Jon Dougherty
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