When George W. Bush proposed a major $1.6 trillion tax cut in 2001, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was projecting a 5.6 trillion budget surplus over the next decade. Fast forward to Donald Trump’s plan for a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax cut and the New York Times reports:
Now, the budget office forecasts that deficits will total $10.1 trillion over the next decade. The deficit is expected to top $1 trillion a year in 2022 and keep growing from there. Federal debt held by the public is at the highest level since shortly after World War II, at 77 percent of the gross domestic product.
This should portend End Times for GOP deficit hawks, no? No, apparently not. The Republicans spent the entirety of Barack Obama’s presidency whining about fiscal responsibility and the country’s rising debt, even as Obama shrunk the federal deficit from nearly 10 percent of GDP to about 3 percent of GDP. But suddenly close to none of the so-called fiscal hawks seem all that concerned about taking on more debt.
“It’s a great talking point when you have an administration that’s Democrat-led,” said Representative Mark Walker, Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of about 150 conservative House members. “It’s a little different now that Republicans have both houses and the administration.” […]
“There’s been less talk about it this year with a Republican-led administration than there has been the last seven or eight years,” said Mr. Walker, who bristled at the Senate’s plan for tax cuts that would add to the deficit and said it was imperative that lawmakers pay attention to the debt.
But no one really is paying attention, especially not the House Freedom Caucus, who led the charge in decrying Obama’s handling of the economy, among other issues.