With trillion dollar deficits, Republican leaders have abandoned fiscal responsibility (Pasadena Star News link): Trillion-dollar deficits are projected to start next year, according to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, a reflection of how irresponsible the federal government continues to be.
The projection directly contradicts a claim made in June by Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council for President Trump, in which he said “the deficit … is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly.”
Just weeks later, the OMB issued a budget report indicating the budget deficit would rise from $890 billion in 2018 to $1.1 trillion in 2019.
Over that same time period, the deficit was projected to rise from 4.4 percent of gross domestic product to 5.1 percent of GDP.
Either way, Kudlow was dead wrong, and the reality is that President Trump and Congress have a serious budget problem to contend with.
Notably, the OMB’s figures are even worse than those released by the Congressional Budget Office in April, which didn’t project the federal deficit actually surpassing the $1 trillion mark until 2020.
The OMB projects budget deficits over the next decade, with estimates that between 2019 and 2028, $8 trillion in deficits will be run up.
Considering the Republican Party presents itself as the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility, it is untenable that a federal government controlled by Republicans is continuing to run up budget deficits.
As politically convenient as it might be in the short run to spend without limit, such practices not only threaten the long-term fiscal health of the federal government — they saddle future generations with considerable debt.
As seen with numerous spending bills to date, the concern for fiscal responsibility that created the Tea Party has seemingly vanished among congressional leadership.
“The post-2016 Republican Party has abandoned even the pretense of fiscal conservatism,” tweeted Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, in response to the OMB report. “My colleagues used to pay lip service to limited government and less spending; now, they don’t even bother.”
While it is fortunate that tax reform passed last year has apparently helped spur continued economic growth, the notion that the federal government can cut taxes and spend more just doesn’t work.
Tinkering with reforms to things like food stamps might have their merit, but that won’t be enough to bring the federal budget anywhere close to balance. This is particularly true given the Trump administration’s fondness for bloating the military budget much faster than it’s willing to cut non-military spending.
Unfortunately, tax-cut-and-spend Republicans have become the norm and fiscal responsibility has been tossed aside out of political convenience.
If the public can’t rely on Republicans to actually be fiscally responsible, what’s the point of electing them?
From coast to coast, food-seeking scofflaws were turned away from supermarkets, convenience stores, and fruit markets as they tried to circumvent the nation’s long-standing grocery I.D. laws.
“Given that Americans have been required to show I.D. to buy food for years, it’s amazing that people still try to get away with this,” Carol Foyler, a supermarket cashier in Fresno, California, said. “It’s always, ‘Oh, I left my food I.D. in my other pants,’ or some B.S. like that. Believe me, I’ve heard it all.”
In Cleveland, Ohio, a man attempting to buy a loaf of bread, two yogurts, and a bottle of Fanta tried to use another consumer’s food I.D. to make the purchase, but was busted by sharp-eyed security personnel.
“It’s not just people using other people’s food I.D.s to get groceries,” Harland Dorrinson, the store’s security chief, said. “I can’t tell you how many fake food I.D.s we see in here on a daily basis.”
Dorrinson said that, although the nation’s food-I.D. laws have served it well, they “need to go further” to prevent rampant abuses of the system.
“Requiring people who want groceries to have a food I.D. is a good start, but there should also be background checks and a waiting period,” he said.