MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Trillion-Dollar Deficits Are Nearly Here. Thanks, Republicans!

At nearly every opportunity, the GOP has made the nation's fiscal outlook worse.

Douliery Olivier/ABACADouliery Olivier/ABACAThe Congressional Budget Office projected in April that the federal budget deficit would hit $804 billion this year, and would top $1 trillion by 2020, two years earlier than previously projected.

Last week, the CBO reported that the federal government had already spent $895 billion more than it brought during the first 11 months of the fiscal year, an increase of $222 billion over the same period of time last year. Trillion-dollar deficits are very nearly here.

It's no secret why. Over the past year, Republicans at the federal level have cut taxes while signing onto bipartisan deals to increase spending. They have made the deficit larger at nearly every turn, and there's no sign they plan to stop.

Just this morning, President Donald Trump tweeted his displeasure with a bipartisan spending measure that passed in the Senate earlier this week. "I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms? Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security." Trump had demanded $5 billion in spending for a border wall; the deal Senate Republicans cut with Democrats provides $1.6 billion. Trump, in other words, was upset because the plan doesn't spend more.

Yet the foundation of the latest budget deal, much like the spending planned signed earlier this year, is an agreement to spend more—on everything. The deal spends $11 billion more on the Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services departments than the Trump administration requested. That's what Democrats wanted in exchange for agreeing to a $17 billion year-over-year increase in military spending, according to The Washington Post. The two parties reached a deal by giving both sides what they want: more spending.

President Trump, meanwhile, wants even more spending—a lot more—in the form of a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill financed entirely by debt. Indeed, according to Axios, Trump rejected a proposal from former White House adviser Gary Cohn to spend $200 billion in federal funds in hopes of leveraging state and local dollars. Trump preferred an idea put forth by Democrats to put the entire infrastructure bill on the federal tab. "We've just gotta spend money on this," Trump reportedly said.

Trump wants to spend money—but Republicans don't want to raise more revenue to pay for it.

Last year's tax bill added more than $1.5 trillion to the next decade of federal deficits, and now House Republicans are pushing a second package of tax cuts that would add another $3.2 trillion. The second round of tax cuts isn't likely to become law, but a separate bipartisan package rolling back a variety of health care taxes has a real shot. That plan, which is driven by Republicans but has previously found some Democratic support, would add $59 billion to the deficit over the next decade—and more like $73 billion including interest.

Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said this week that he was skeptical that tax cuts drove deficit increases. Kudlow, who earlier this summer falsely argued that last year's tax bill had already brought the deficit, said that he wished the current deficit were lower, but it's "not a catastrophe."

Anyway, he said, deficits are a product of too much spending. "We spent too much, I absolutely agree," Kudlow said. "Down the road of course we'd like to slim that down as much as possible." This is the way it always is with Republicans: tax cuts now, spending reductions later.

The federal deficit is a product of the difference between tax revenues and government spending; when countries, including the United States in the 1990s, have reduced their deficits, it has typically involved a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes. Kudlow, like most Republicans, wants to look only at one side of the ledger.

It is of course possible to substantially reduce the deficit exclusively via spending cuts. But Trump and his fellow Republicans have demonstrated repeatedly that they have no interest in the cutting spending at the scale that would be necessary. On the contrary, they have shown that they will accept higher spending for Democratic priorities in exchange for higher spending on Republican priorities, and they will pair these spending increases with tax reductions that increase the deficit even further. Kudlow may want to reduce spending down the road, but his party appears bent on increasing it now. And that, of course, is the same path that Republicans took under President George W. Bush. When the GOP has had power, it has cut taxes, but the spending cuts to match have never arrived.

Years of rank deficit hypocrisy on the part of the GOP helped pave a political pathway for Democrats who would like to increase spending even more whenever they have the opportunity. Republicans have contributed to an already troubling political dynamic that is likely to make the problem worse.

Kudlow may be right, in a narrow sense, that this year's high deficit is not a catastrophe—at least for the moment. But just because fiscal ruin has not yet descended upon us does not mean it will not arrive eventually; the nature of debt crises is that everything is basically fine until, one day, it's not. The federal government's debt and deficits have been a catastrophe in waiting for years, and under Trump the Republicans have made the problem worse.

*CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the CBO had updated its deficit projection for the current fiscal year to $1 trillion.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Every good libertarian should know that it's not loss of tax revenue but state spending. As for the GOP, voters don't want to give up any government programs.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It appears they are going to give up the Republican Party instead.

    Let's hope the Democratic Party responds wisely.

  • bvandyke||

    Good luck with that, like the Democratic Party is fiscally responsible.

  • ||

    Or good at responding wisely.

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    The Republicans have merely come to the same conclusion that Democrats came to years ago: You can't buy votes with balanced budgets or smaller government. Staying in office means making sure your constituents are getting the benefits. Legislators-as-Santa Claus.

  • JesseAz||

    When have democrats ever responded wisely instead if with emotional hysteria?

  • Red Tony||

    ...from now on, Ima respond to you with Super Kami Guru quotes from DBZAbridged.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It isn't the GOP, it's the faggot RINO pieces of shot in the leadership. This is why they're fighting so hard to keep Jim Jordan out. We might have a chance if he's speaker, amd Trump keeps his promos that the current omnibus spending bill was the last one.

    It would also help if we could teach democrats their place. But that would take a real fire breathing AG willing to put them all in prison where they belong.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    All that work you put into your posts and no one gives a shit. So pathetic of you.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    You're right that they're really going crazy with the insane spending, but you would have way more credibility if you didn't whine like a bitch and implore them to surrender and give your hero Obama virtually everything he demanded during the "shutdown" fiasco.

    You lying liberal democrat fucktard.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Whimpering, half-educated bigots might be my favorite faux libertarians.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    I still wish that someone would show up there at 8113 Sun Meadows Court in Fort Worth, Texas and put you out of your misery, Mary Stack.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Sorry, the value of your home is too low for me to bother with. My regrets...

  • No Yards Penalty||

    whimpering, half-educated bigots is all that's left around here. The fauxbertarians migrated over from The Federalist and drove the libertarians away.

  • Eman||

    "Fauxbertarians"? Lame.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Speaking of crazy, since we know who you are and where you live, you might want to worry about being civilly committed you fucking wacko.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You're the moron who posts as Hihn, amd if you're the real one, it might be about time to look and see if you should be remanded to a nuthouse where you belong.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You're the moron who posts as Hihn, amd if you're the real one, it might be about time to look and see if you should be remanded to a nuthouse where you belong.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Trump's Cock Holster, shoudn't you be whining like a Contard bitch over at The Federalist with the other rubes? Or are you just LC1789's sock-puppet?

  • Red Tony||

    It's your first time, so I'll be gentle.

  • Red Tony||

    All downhill from here.

  • Red Tony||

    Yep. Would be a real dick move to die right now.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Again with Trumo's cock? You are supremely unoriginal.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It doesn't mean bigot you stupid, stupid piece of shit. Now go to hospice.

  • Rich||

    The federal deficit is a product of the difference between tax revenues and government spending

    Are you bringing that economic multiplier thingie to bear?

    This "trillion" stuff if getting out of hand. Time to implement the nuevo dollar.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Time to print that trillion dollar coin they invented in the last administration.

  • DiegoF||

    They might not do much right but I liked Slate's design choice. Remember this was shortly after the 2012 Olympics.

  • CE||

    They're going to need a lot of them.

  • jonnysage||

    Revenue is up. Spending is up more. Thanks to DEMOCRATS and Republicans who both voted for spending increases.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I have no love loss for the Republicans and their flagrant spending. I think it's weird that they are the only ones called to task for it though. The article mentions briefly that the spending is bipartisan, but everything else puts blame solely on Republicans.

  • Magnitogorsk||

    Probably because Republicans control both the branch of government that proposes spending and the branch that approves it

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    But they are not dominant, and this is not a sudden change where Democrats when they were in control were financial responsible. There is a tendency to paint this along partisan lines, but in a case where it is so clearly bipartisan that makes it come off as bald faced bias.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And just to clarify what I mean by "They're not dominant." The current make-up is 51-49 in the Senate, 236-193 in House. This is not complete domination. Particularly as there are Republicans who do vote against these budgets.

    The budget ultimately passed 93-7. This does not happen without major support from Democrats. They are not free of sin. And painting this as if it's purely one side, is just Partisanship. But it's also Suderman, who is a bitter partisan.

  • Just Say'n||

    Suderman should mention, though, that all the "no" votes were from Republicans, with the exception of Bernie Sanders who voted "no" due to the military spending increase (I'll tip my hat to Bernie on that one).

    That fact undercuts the woketarian argument that continues to be pushed here that somehow we'll get restrained spending from Democrats

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Can you link me to the vote? I actually looked for it, but was having a hard time finding this specifically.

  • Just Say'n||

  • Just Say'n||

    From the link:

    NAYs ---7

    Flake (R-AZ)
    Lee (R-UT)
    Paul (R-KY)
    Perdue (R-GA)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Sasse (R-NE)
    Toomey (R-PA)

  • Just Say'n||

    I thought I'd never say this, but "well done, Bernie"

  • Azathoth!!||

    Based on this--


    NAYs ---7

    Flake (R-AZ)
    Lee (R-UT)
    Paul (R-KY)
    Perdue (R-GA)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Sasse (R-NE)
    Toomey (R-PA)
    ;

    The Republicans are the only party to show any fiscal restraint at all. The Dems were all in for spending.

    Sanders is a member of no party.

  • PTSD||

    Obviously, they're both guilty. The problem is that Republicans constantly claim to be the party of "small government," and they used to rail regularly against spending. It's like all those Catholic priests who intone against child molestation, while spending their weekends raping the parish kids. Bad optics, you know.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No democrat should have a goddamn ting to say about fiscal restraint. Ever.

  • CE||

    Yeah, no dodging this one. Republicans are awful on the budget.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    But when fake libertarian Suderman's hero Barack Obama was president, he still put all the blame on republicans, and then that one time it looked like there might possibly be a "government shutdown", he whined about it like the little dishonest bitch that he is and said the republicans should just shut up and pass the spending bill.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Trump's Cock Holster, you might not have noticed by Obama is no longer president. Try to keep up, rube.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Again with that shit. You're a big sloppy bottom faggot for Trump, aren't you?

  • JesseAz||

    Magnito... Learn how government qlactually works. Kthxbye

  • Here for the outrage||

    The federal government's debt and deficits have been a catastrophe in waiting for years, and under Trump the Republicans have made the problem worse.

    Enjoy your 401k and cocktail parties

  • Idle Hands||

    But Trumps not a "real" conservative. Fuck all these people they deserve far worse than Trump. Whose up for nominating a horse?

  • ||

    Why not? We've been electing horse's asses for years. Might as well try the whole animal.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Either a hooker or a horse, of course... Or maybe even Caligula? We could use a little-boots-boost around here!

    Or maybe combine the hooker and the horse; why not a hooker-horse?

    ANYTHING would be better than Trump, so let's trump (and dump) the Trump!

  • sarcasmic||

    How's about some Caligulove?

    link is to a song by Them Crooked Vultures which is a trio comprised of Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), David Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). They kick ass....

  • SQRLSY One||

    Caligulove
    Them Crooked Vultures
    In the temple (I was an offering)
    Of the heartless (I was an offering)
    I was humbled (I was an offering)
    And reborn
    Into a god.
    Darling,
    A sensitive soul is just,
    A tyrant who enslaves,
    All those around him,
    To make certain he
    Is hurt, always
    I don't need a reason baby,
    Put your arms around me.
    Hold me real close,
    Clap me in irons,
    C'mon caligulove me,
    C'mon caligulove me.
    You can hear it (as an offering)
    If you're a good girl (as an offering)
    A righteous choir is singing (as an offering)
    No, screaming,
    As they burn.
    Darling, there are no taboos
    In lust.
    My veins coarse blood that's so
    Venomous.
    When heartless hears a heartbeat
    He's jealous, so jealous.
    I don't need a reason baby,
    Put your arms around me.
    Hold me real close,
    Clap me in irons,
    C'mon caligulove me.
    I already gotcha baby,
    Put yourself upon me.
    I'm in lust,
    A slave to desire,
    When you caligulove me.
    C'mon on,
    Love me.
    Hold me real close
    Love me.
    I need your caligulove girl.
    Caligulove.

    As sung by Trump, to all of us peons!

  • sarcasmic||

    Jesus, dude. You trying to get lc to cream his jeans?

  • Dillinger||

    JPJ is Bass God.

  • sarcasmic||

    Citizens! In all times, two political systems have been in existence, and each may be maintained by good reasons. According to one of them, Government ought to do much, but then it ought to take much. According to the other, this two-fold activity ought to be little felt. We have to choose between these two systems. But as regards the third system, which partakes of both the others, and which consists in exacting everything from Government, without giving it anything, it is chimerical, absurd, childish, contradictory, and dangerous. Those who parade it, for the sake of the pleasure of accusing all governments of weakness, and thus exposing them to your attacks, are only flattering and deceiving you, while they are deceiving themselves.

    Bastiat

  • mpercy||

    "But as regards the third system, which partakes of both the others, and which consists in exacting everything from Government, without giving it anything, it is chimerical, absurd, childish, contradictory, and dangerous."

    So, basically, the 42% who pay no federal income taxes?

    Or at least the 24% who have zero or negative sum of income and payroll taxes (i.e., their EITC and other refundable credits offset or more than offset their income taxes--they're not paying into Social Security or Medicaid, effectively, but will certainly draw on it given a chance).

    Or the additional 15% that paid neither any income or payroll taxes in the first place?

  • Moridin||

    So spending is okay for dems but not the GOP? I remember when Obummer was first in office and the dems were spending all that money and a dem acquaintance of mine said to me, "We [dems] are okay with spending tons of money. Just not when you guys [he presumed I was GOP since I was against Obummer] do it." Fo sho.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's not okay for either, I just wish there was more taking to task for both.

  • Just Say'n||

    You're not going to get that from woketarians. The virtue signal is their highest principle.

  • Sigivald||

    I was not aware that Presidents controlled the budget.

    Because they don't.

    Neither Obama nor Trump "added debt".

    Congress does that.

  • Red Tony||

    Fool. If I had trained him in the new way, he might've stood a chance.

  • Red Tony||

    Now relax as I reach deep inside you and grab hold of your essence.

  • mpercy||

    He could veto it, but with only 7 Nays in the Senate (I forget the House vote) it sure seems like a veto is just procedural, destined to be overridden.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    93 is over 2/3. And in the House, 359-49. Now about flunking math...

    Now go spout about how Trump has added more debt in 2 years than Obama did in 8. Let's see what Treasury says:

    August report (last available): 21,458,850MM (We'll be generous and round up to 21,458,851,000,000)
    09/30/2017 20,244,900,016,053.51
    09/30/2016 19,573,444,713,936.79
    09/30/2015 18,150,617,666,484.33
    09/30/2014 17,824,071,380,733.82
    09/30/2013 16,738,183,526,697.32
    09/30/2012 16,066,241,407,385.89
    09/30/2011 14,790,340,328,557.15
    09/30/2010 13,561,623,030,891.79
    09/30/2009 11,909,829,003,511.75
    09/30/2008 10,024,724,896,912.49

    So Barry either went from 11,909,829,003,511.75 to 20,244,900,016,053.51 = 8335071012541.76 or he went from 10,024,724,896,912.49 to 19,573,444,713,936.79 = 9548719817024.3. Using the latter standard, "Trump" has added 1,885,406,286,063.21, which is about half of what Barry added in his first two years.

    Again, 9.5TT is greater than 1.8TT, but you ran out of fingers and toes to do your 'rithmetic.

    Christ you're a moron.

  • Red Tony||

    This is why we need TV!

  • Red Tony||

    Do I look Catholic to you?

  • mpercy||

    Trump (so far)

    Date Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
    01/20/2017 14,403,704,176,388.94 5,543,600,378,823.55 19,947,304,555,212.49
    09/20/2018 15,760,417,329,521.12 5,707,051,193,365.25 21,467,468,522,886.37

    Obama

    Date Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
    01/20/2009 6,307,310,739,681.66 4,319,566,309,231.42 10,626,877,048,913.08
    09/20/2010 8,970,291,578,710.76 4,499,050,879,423.41 13,469,342,458,134.17
    01/19/2017 14,403,768,885,198.20 5,540,660,331,908.57 19,944,429,217,106.77

    Increase under Trump so far is about $1.52T.
    Increase under Obama by the same time was about $2.843T.

    Total Increase under Obama was about $9.318T, it slowed down later in his administration, to average about $1.16T per year over 8 years. It remains to be seen whether debt increases faster later in Trump's administration or declines--currently his increase is higher than Obama's overall rate, but way below what Obama added in his first year+.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The 8-year forecast...

    Huh, too many letters in that word for you to understand?

  • mpercy||

    I know what FORECAST means..., which is why I said "It remains to be seen whether debt increases faster later in Trump's administration or declines--currently his increase is higher than Obama's overall rate, but way below what Obama added in his first year+."

    A forecast is a prediction, which may or may not come true. Thus, the ACTUAL future deficit growth may or may not be what was forecast, it could be worse or it could be better. I'll repeat that for the slow readers: the forecast may be right or it may be wrong, the actual deficits may be higher than predicted or may be lower than predicted.

    Who knows what the future truly holds? Perhaps the Democrats gain a slight majority in both the House and Senate, but not enough to override any veto. Then Trump vetoes all Democrat spending plans and we face shutdowns and CRs that do not increase spending. Perhaps Trump loses in 2020 and has no "8-year deficit".

  • jonnysage||

    Not possible. Debt now from when Trump took office has increased by about 1.5 trillion. for Obama it was 10 trillion. Also Obama is responsible for everything that happens until 2020 or 2024. This is called the Bush rule.

  • jonnysage||

    Read your own post. "Trump has already added more 8-year debt"

    He hasnt. A forecast is the future, not the present.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Michael, you said, using both your 'Nolan' and 'Wyatt' socks that;

    "Trump has already added more new debt, in less than 2 years, than Obama added in 8 years"(Wyatt)

    "Trump has already added more 8-year debt. in less than 2 years, than Obama did after 8 years" (Nolan)

    See that bolding? It's not for "defense against aggression", it's for emphasis.

    "Has already" means that something has already happened, Michael. That it's in the past.

    Forecast, as with this--

    "The 8-year forecast for Trump is over $12 trillion ALREADY"

    means that something hasn't happened yet. It's in the future.

    This means that all your statements about this are, based on how you're saying things, categorically wrong.

    Simply because something that has been 'forecast' cannot have 'already' happened.

    See?

  • Dillinger||

    *anyone* holding office.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Krugman must be happy as a clam.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I wonder how many libertarians are like me? Want to cut-cut-cut spending, except for MY favorite spending?!?!?

    My favorite spending would be REAL science and tech… Assuming Government Almighty could get efficient and smart about it, and not spend all of our money on fake or stupid tech and science… Which I know is a GIANT assumption and risk!

    Anyway, I wish that they could throw a "mere" $5 billion to Elon Musk and BFR development while they are at it… It is a MUCH better investment than that stupid SLS that they've got going! See http://reason.com/blog/2018/09.....nt_7476168 and http://www.quora.com/Will-Spac.....S-obsolete

    I justify my cut-spending –but- don't cut MY faves, hypocrisy, in the name of "market failure"… If Elon Musk's investments save the human race from the next asteroid impact, HOW can he collect $0.79 (efficiently) from every human on the planet? Can't be done, so maybe a place for Government Almighty spending…

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I've been doing some research in a type of flute, a plastic device one can blow on. I don't have a name for it yet, but I'm wondering if you think the government should fund me.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes!!! And make sure that a device that costs $3 or $5 at most, to manufacture, costs me $55, and costs the MFG $30 million to get approved by the FDA, and, last but not least, make sure that I have to get a PRESCRIPTION for it!!!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'll try my best. I just hope the government is okay with creating a new task force and council for the dissemination of my tool. The more layers there are to accessing it, the better I think.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I've been trying to disseminate my tool for YEARS now, and they'e been telling me it's too old and moldy... Maybe I will have to market it as blue cheese instead!

  • DiegoF||

    If a link to this comment could be forwarded far and wide I think it would rid the world of the intactivist movement--or at least of the world's lunch--instantly, once and for all.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Wasn't there one of those in the Starr Report?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes, you COULD even build one for yourself, if so criminally inclined and criminally insane, but that would be an unspeakable crime, in so, so many ways, you couldn't even shake a "lung flute" at a number that high!!! So don't be a criminal, don't do it!!!

    Precise details on what NOT to do, to stay on the GOOD side of Government Almighty, are to be found at http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ ...

  • PTSD||

    I have a flute made of skin that you can blow on. For free!

  • CE||

    Just cut it all. People will have more money left over to spend on what they want, including REAL science and tech.

  • Just Say'n||

    "I wonder how many libertarians are like me? Want to cut-cut-cut spending, except for MY favorite spending?!?!?"

    You're reading the leading publication of that brand of "libertarianism". They frequently attack attempts to de-fund Planned Parenthood (which is a large advertiser here) and tax payer funded abortions.

    Paul is the only representative that votes in favor of all spending cut bills. Amash votes "present" on spending cut bills that would take the government out of the bedroom and Massie votes "present" on spending cut bills that would impact his district.

    Guess which representative Reason loves?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    David Nolan?

  • Sigivald||

    Which enumerated power is "science and tech spending", again?

    (But, hey, not everyone has to be a Constitutionalist while they are or aren't a libertarian; the two positions are isomorphic.)

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Fucking Obama. This is all his fault.

  • Sigivald||

    Presidents Are Sun Kings!

    As Long As That Theory Credits Democrats, At Least!

    Jesus. Christ.

  • Red Tony||

    I saw a bird. It was pretty. Kick its' ass.

  • Red Tony||

    Kill it like the rest.

  • bvandyke||

    Does Reason even remember complaining about spending under Obo? It really doesn't sound like they do.

    It is Government spending - not Repub or Demo - Government. Take the focus off of a party and focus on the whole problem. Take the partisan politics out of it, the spending sure isn't partisan.

  • Red Tony||

    ...that SLUT!

  • Sigivald||

    1) Yes. They occasionally pretend to think it's important - generally when they're not in power and can blame Republicans. (And let's be fair, since I'm not the partisan you seem to be - the Republicans do exactly the same stupid thing. "No one is without sin.")

    2) Congress controls the budget, not the President. It's in that "Constitution" thing, and it's one of the parts we actually still follow!

    3) What year do you have in mind? I don't see here any such thing in the past decade. Could you be specific?

  • Red Tony||

    I saw a fish. That is all. Go back outside now.

  • BSL1||

    Did you really just try to say that the difference between 665 and 1000 is 50.3 percent, not 33.5%?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Michael, you don't know how to do arithmetic.

  • chipper me timbers||

    It's not MY debt, it's THEIR debt.

    There is no political will to significantly raise taxes, and it's unlikely that will change. Once debt servicing starts to eat up the budget they WILL have to make difficult decisions HAHAHAHA. Can't wait.

  • ThomasD||

    "Once debt servicing starts to eat up the budget they WILL have to make difficult decisions "

    The decision will not be difficult. They will decide to do what all governments have done since time immemorial.

    They will inflate the currency.

    Thus transferring the debt to everyone who transacts in that currency.

    As it is also the worlds reserve currency that means pretty much everyone other than some of those tribes in the remote regions of the Amazon.

  • chipper me timbers||

    Of course you're right. They will definitely debauch the currency.

    This is real bad for the holders of the debt, not quite as bad for everyone else. And.. still not my debt. It's THEIR debt.

  • ThomasD||

    Currency debasement affects everyone who holds currency, it's a stealth tax.

    Won't be as bad here as in places with more kleptocracy - in those places economic growth with decline, and quite likely go negative.

  • CE||

    The federal debt is approaching 21 trillion with a T. Long term interest rates are around 3 percent, so debt service is already 600 billion dollars a year (12 billion a week if you prefer).

    If inflation hits and rates edge up to 5 percent, debt service will be one trillion dollars per annum.

  • Red Tony||

    This is very serious. I must put on my war face.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    One of the reasons I support President Trump is that I don't revel in the screaming anguish of others. I mean, can you imagine the blood pressure of the average Reason commenter if we were running 5% 30 year mortgage rates and trillion dollar deficits under Obama in a period of economic expansion? Why, there'd be a lot of coronary heart disease and strokes around here. I'm not a sadist. I want you guys to live a long time, ok?

  • JesseAz||

    You're really really bad at parody.

  • Red Tony||

    Oh, hello. I'm Super Kami Guru, and I'm the guy who's not judging you on your appearance.

  • Red Tony||

    Nail, prepare to retrieve the Dragon Ball. And the body.

  • NoVaNick||

    Lets get this straight-neither major political party has ever given a shit about fiscal responsibility.

  • Red Tony||

    That's how old I AAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMM!

  • Red Tony||

    I AM AN ADULT!

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "It is of course possible to substantially reduce the deficit exclusively via spending cuts. But Trump and his fellow Republicans have demonstrated repeatedly that they have no interest in the cutting spending at the scale that would be necessary."

    However the converse, that it is possible to substantially reduce the deficit exclusively via tax increases is not necessarily true.

    Historically, nearly every time congress has increased taxes, they have increased spending by even more than the projected revenue from the tax increase and actual revenue from the tax increases have almost always fallen short of projections.

    Beyond reversing tax cuts made during the Trump administration, tax increases should be off the table until both parties have demonstrated both interest in and actual capability for spending discipline.

  • chipper me timbers||

    ^This

    There will NEVER be a long term balanced budget. The deficit is always a function of revenue. Always.

    Starve the beast not only works, it's the ONLY thing that works.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    However the converse, that it is possible to substantially reduce the deficit exclusively via tax increases is not necessarily true.

    Historically, nearly every time congress has increased taxes, they have increased spending by even more than the projected revenue from the tax increase and actual revenue from the tax increases have almost always fallen short of projections.

    They have?!?! Boy, i'm glad I come here to listen to my fellow Trump supporters and libertarians. I learn something every day! Wow!

  • CE||

    It's all spending increases. Spending is more than double what it was when Bill Clinton was president.
    How often do tax cuts actually decrease revenues to the Feds?

  • CE||

    Federal tax receipts were 3.268 trillion in 2016, 3.316 trillion in 2017, and estimated to be 3.340 trillion in 2018 (after the tax cuts kick in). Revenues are continuing to go up. The increased deficit is entirely due to spending hikes.

  • Red Tony||

    Every party needs a pooper that's why they invited you. Party POOPer. Party POOPer.

  • Red Tony||

    So. Dende. Sucks about your family.

  • mpercy||

    For about the last 30 years or so, revenues have lagged spending by about 5 years. And the spending curve tends to increase faster than the revenue curve, so the lag is increasing (now about 7 years).

    For example 2015 revenues were $3.249T, while 2010 spending was $3.457T.
    In 2010, revenues were $2.162T, while 2005 spending was $2.471T.
    In 2005, revenues were $2.153T, and spending in 2000 was $1.788T.
    In 2000, revenues were $2.025T, and spending in 1995 was $1.5T.
    In 1995, revenues were $1.351T, and spending in 1990 was $1.252T.

    The big question is, with $3T spending in 2008, and $4T spending now, what are we getting from the government for the extra $1T that we weren't getting in 2008?

  • mpercy||

    This comment was a reply to posters comment: "Historically, nearly every time congress has increased taxes, they have increased spending by even more than the projected revenue from the tax increase and actual revenue from the tax increases have almost always fallen short of projections."

    So yeah, it had nothing to do with debt or any of your rantings, except that in the abstract it is interesting to note than even in years in which we have all-time record revenues or all-time year-over-year revenue increases, spending grows even faster. Spending increases are the primary cause of the deficit and accumulated debt.

    And sure, Trump and Republicans have spent the money this time. Did they spend more or less than similarly situated Democrats? We know that Obama and Democrat Congress spent $800B in "temporary stimulus" that is now baked into the budget forever. And Obamacare costs just keep going up.

  • Azathoth!!||

    It was a DIVERSION. Irrelevant

    No, Michael, it wasn't a 'diversion. Mpercy simply wasn't speaking to you. You have to let others speak to each other if you want to stay out of your room.

    Do we need to get an orderly?

  • CE||

    Two have a balanced budget, federal spending would have to be cut way back to 2008 spending levels, when the federal government was so small people were starving in the streets, the world was unpoliced by the USA, interstate highways were shut down and all the federal government workers were complaining that their pension checks bounced.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Did you mean to say back to 1930 levels?

  • JesseAz||

    Too dumb, didn't read.

  • Red Tony||

    Oh, tell me you didn't let him inside.

  • Mark22||

    Republican New Dealers borrow trillions to pay for free tax cuts. Libertarian values? Nowhere to be seen.

    You need to brush up on your libertarian values. It's taxation that violates the NAP, not government deficits or government spending.

  • mpercy||

    This guy Hinh used to post exactly like this and everyone hated him. You've got him down, kudos for the parody values.

  • JesseAz||

    Federal tax revenue is up. It's a spending problem. You can't grow government spending faster than the economy can grow. The only problem from Republicans is the cowardice to cut spending.

  • chipper me timbers||

    Cowardice would imply that they really deep down inside WANT to cut spending but just can't find the will.

    That is of course completely inaccurate.

  • Red Tony||

    OH GOD! GLOBAL WARMING!

  • JesseAz||

    Your comment proves me right. You know you're an idiot right? Did you see the comment about not growing spending faster than the economy? I swear hihn, you need help.

  • Red Tony||

    I don't care who you are! Now clean my jowls!

  • Furzeydown||

    And like having to pull the trigger to remove the ACA when given the opportunity, they will flinch. Cutting spending is politically (read : power) impossible, as doing so would likely see them back in the minority of Congress.

  • Red Tony||

    Nail. Don't take his coat.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Thanks, Republicans!

    This has been a fully bipartisan, multi-generational effort.

  • BYODB||

    The only people that voted against it were Republicans, yet somehow Democrats have no culpability in their 100% agreement that spending must go up.


    Seems legit.


    Anyway, he said, deficits are a product of too much spending. "We spent too much, I absolutely agree," Kudlow said. "Down the road of course we'd like to slim that down as much as possible." This is the way it always is with Republicans: tax cuts now, spending reductions later.


    Yeah, because Democrats aren't going to let them cut spending. No, seriously, it's true. Republicans would need to be as united as Democrats are in favor of less spending to have any hope, but there are plenty of Republicans that like more spending to buy votes just as much as Democrats love it.


    That you skewer the only party that even mentions deficits is telling. In no scenario were deficits going to vanish, yet somehow no one mentions that the baseline is a deficit. Go figure.

  • Mark22||

    Yeah, but it's all talk and no action.bullshit.

    You should be very familiar with that.

  • turco||

    I am listening to a podcast about the French revolution right now. And really what did the ancien regime in was massive debt that could not be financed anymore. The King tried many times to reform taxes , and cut some spending and limit rent-seekers, but vested interest thwarted him eventually. Until the interest on the debt became too much, and it all blew up.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Religious, girl-bullying, bomb-dropping, prohibitionist looters are still looters. Not my party...

  • Jerry B.||

    But trillion dollar deficits are already here. 2009 to 2012 were all trillion dollar deficit years.

  • Jerry B.||

    Nevertheless, trillion dollar deficits aren't NEARLY here. They've already been here. Maybe the headline should have been "Trillion Dollar Deficits Are Nearly Here Again".

  • Mark22||

    In less than two years, he has added more new debt than Obama did in EIGHT years?

    I think you have conclusively proven now that you are the reincarnation of Goebbels.

  • Charles Barr||

    The DEBT is not the DEFICIT. And the DEFICIT is not the DEBT.

    Government BORROWING drives up the debt, not government SPENDING.

    The solution to our debt problem is simple: STOP ISSUING DEBT-BASED MONEY! Begin issuing pure "unbacked" fiat money to fund the deficit, rather than going further into debt. The inflationary impact of unbacked dollars is no worse than the inflationary impact of the same amount of debt-backed dollars. Issuing unbacked dollars will halt the increase in the national debt and its crushing $430 billion in annual interest. Paying off part of the maturing debt each year and rolling over the rest will eventually bring the national debt (and its taxpayer-financed interest payments) down to zero. See www.fixourmoney.com .

  • Mark22||

    "Nearly?" We have had trillion dollar deficits most years since 2008.

    And by "deficit" I mean "increase in the national debt", which is really all that counts, any other measure being a meaningless accounting trick.

  • Mark22||

    Trumpsters, like Trump, keep inventing whatever they need at the moment.

    I wouldn't know not being a "Trumpster".

    I do know that you are a senile old fool who is lying through his teeth.

  • mpercy||

    How do you keep your sock puppet accounts straight?

  • Duelles||

    Spending is out of control. Freebies to the victims of living in the wealthiest country ever need MORE. Somehow the dirt turds are winning. WTF are they thinking in Washington.WTF!!!

  • Jr12||

    Is this a big tent libertarian inclusion effort to attract the numerical majority of university indoctrinated, politicized bigots and thieves of the left. What does libertarianism offer to those electing political enablers to help transfer to themselves, the cooperatively earned incomes and opportunities of others. Nothing. What does the Democratic Party offer but the lionization of thieves as the fake morally superior champions of social justice. What does the fake Republican opposition party offer, nothing but a useless repository for opposition votes. Why is Reason siding with Democrats, as though Republicans were the cause of political exploitation and its adverse consequences, when the cause is the thieving racist scum electing Democrats to steal whatever they want from whoever has it.

  • Jr12||

    P.S. The next step for the thieving left when they run out of other people's money is always property confiscation. Did Reason not recognize that Hillary's campaign promise of 65% death taxes will force numerous businesses into bankruptcy with impossible to pay amounts due D.C., allowing D.C. to profit from the sale of property confisacated via unpaid political debt. While certainly it is better to position the libertarian party as supportive of the winning left in any unopposed leftist welfare state, the left has a record documenting its treatment of those who will not stand for the theft of anything, from, anyone for any reason. Reason's cowardly, self serving betrayal of the anti-theft libertarian constituency is contemptible, not the political clarity of accurate thought.

  • Jr12||

    So your argument is that since Democrats added less debt to an outrageous trillion dollar deficit than Republicans, libertarians must vote Democrat. Funny that used to be the same excuse that demanded Republican votes from libertarians, whenever Republicans accidentally crapped up by not stealing as much as Democrats.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online