What seems quite clear is that Republicans were only deficit hawks while President Obama was in office.
I think many Republicans in Congress who voted for the big tax cut and this big spending bill are like the intellectually challenged Ted Yoho and have no idea what they are doing. None. Paul Ryan knows what he is doing: he is an Ayn Rand acolyte who believes people should take care of themselves, and that programs like Social Security and Medicare destroy the moral fiber of the republic. His goal is to create such a deficit problem that those popular programs will have to be slashed to the bone. Mitch McConnell keeps telling him to be quiet about all of that so Republicans can stay in power, so we’ll see what happens.
Trump, who is hardly a Republican of any duration, is a different kind of cat. He really believes, as he said early in the campaign, that he can solve the country’s debt problem the way he did in his commercial real estate biz: threaten to pay pennies on the dollar to all those countries like China who own mounds of U.S. debt. Markets swooned when he first said that early in his presidential run, but don’t fool yourselves that he’s given up on the idea. Trump is very sure of what he thinks he knows. He thinks he knows that he is the King of Debt.
Where does this all end? I think it ends with the national economy looking like Oklahoma and Kansas, where all of these principles have been put into place — slash taxes to the bone, and expect money to fall out of the sky. Twenty percent of schools in Oklahoma hold classes only four days a week, and their teachers are the lowest paid in the nation. Way to go, Oklahoma.
We’ve lost the essential connection between paying taxes and getting public goods, like Social Security and Medicare. If we want the latter, we have to pay the former.
Should it be so hard for sensible Democrats to make that case sooner rather than later, before the real economic s**t hits the fan? The sugar high of getting a few extra bucks in your pay stub can’t be that overwhelming, is it Trump voters?