Election 2020

Brian Riedl: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and $6 Trillion Budgets

How to slow massive and unchecked national deficits in an age of runaway spending and divided government.


In four years as president, Republican Donald Trump has overseen massive spending increases. His Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, has laid out a spending plan that would add $11 trillion in new spending and institute the largest tax hike since the end of World War II.

Is this any way to run a country? Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at The Manhattan Institute who analyzes budget issues, walks Nick Gillespie through Trump's rotten fiscal record and Biden's insane wish list, explains how bipartisanship is just another word for more spending, and why even a divided government can't stop the red ink from flowing anymore. There are ways to cut spending and stabilize growth-killing national debt, says Riedl, but it's going to take a sea change in politics, rising interest rates, and a cold shoulder from the global economy to make them palatable.

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  2. Sorry that ship has sailed. The American public, a bunch of uneducated left wing rubes, has decided on gifting themselves endless benefits and taking on massive debt.

    1. Yeah, hard to see our current financial illiteracy changing enough to roll back our “spend now, pay later” mentality. Too easy for politicians to buy votes and stick future tax payers with the bill. And the American public is financially illiterate.

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    2. And the leftitarians here clapped the whole time.

      1. Bitched that Trump wasn’t spending more, if anything.

    3. Yeah the first thing coming down the pipe is a huge bailout for states, maybe with EXTRA bailout to get Rs on board too.

      Don’t worry, though. Just creating $10T couldn’t POSSIBLY affect the prices you pay at the store or the value of your savings and labor!

      Buy bitcoin.

      1. It won’t get past the Senate. And in 2 years the House will be Republican too.

        1. They will just pile more cash onto it until it does. It’s all fake anyway.

          1. Yeah, Nardz. Faith is a hell of a drug. Sorry, ghost of Rick James.

        2. And in 2 years the House will be Republican too.

          So? What happened to the debt the last time Republicans controlled Congress and the white house? What about the time before that?

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  4. Latest ballot harvesting status (stats from NYT):

    Biden up 253-214 in EVs (after harvesting WI and MI today)

    Trump’s lead in PA is down to 266K votes with around 1.064M ballots left to harvest. Biden would need to win 63% of the remaining ballots to flip PA.

    Trump leads by 77K votes in NC with around 283K remaining. Biden would need to win 64% of them to flip NC.

    Trump leads by 58K votes in GA with around 304K remaining.
    Biden would need to win 60% to flip GA.

    Trump leads by 52K votes in AK with around 128K remaining.
    Biden would need to win 70% to flip AK. (not likely)

    Biden leads by 93K votes in AZ with around 444K remaining.
    Trump would need to win 60% to flip AZ. (not likely)

    Biden leads by 8K votes in NV with around 190K remaining.
    Trump would need to win 52% to flip NV.

  5. Republican Donald Trump has overseen massive spending increases.

    The Con Man ran the deficit up SIX TIMES higher than Obama left it. But don’t worry, now that there will be a Dem president the GOP will suddenly care about deficits.

    Vote for Gridlock! It is the only libertarian way forward.

    1. Probably the best way to make progress on the deficit is to create new non-discretionary social welfare programs that can never be repealed.

    2. lmao… Obama didn’t “leave” anything the GOP congress did.

  6. The debt?
    What debt
    If both the GOP and the democrats ignore it, then the debt will go away.
    Either that or have both parties wish, really, really hard to go away at the same time, then it will go away.
    That and clicking their ruby red slippers three times.

  7. Not happy with the spending but if Plugs gets in, everybody gets a wake up call. They are going to ram communism down your throat like Epstein on an island binge with the Clintons. You may notice a slight change in management style, and learn mandarin, Joe has.

  8. “In four years as president, Republican Donald Trump has overseen massive spending increases.”

    Let’s not forget that Trump also singlehandedly defeated a $3.5 trillion stimulus bill–and replaced it with nothing.

    Let’s also not forget that Trump fought hard to get the Senate to pass a resolution that would have slashed $772 billion from Medicaid.

    “CBO and JCT estimate that, over the 2017-2026 period, enacting this legislation would reduce direct spending by $1,022 billion and reduce revenues by $701 billion”



    Cutting direct spending by more than $1 trillion–and then cutting taxes by about $700 billion–that’s how you make the government smaller.

    Peter Suderman opposed this bill because of what it didn’t do, which makes Donald Trump far more of a fiscal conservative than Peter Suderman.

  9. “Joe Biden, has laid out a spending plan that would add $11 trillion in new spending and institute the largest tax hike since the end of World War II.”

    To whatever extent those things come to pass, we should never forget that it’s a result of “libertarians” voting for the Libertarian Party.

    I’ve never seen such self-destructive insanity from otherwise knowledgeable people. I’d call them intelligent, but how can you do that? Why would call people who purposely brought about the election of an authoritarian socialist in the name of libertarian capitalism? If they’d been less knowledgeable, they might have done some real good in the world for libertarian capitalism.

    P.S. When we talk about Trump negotiating a peace deal with the Taliban so we can pull out of Afghanistan completely or pulling our troops out of harm’s way in Syria, we’re actually talking about fiscal conservatism, too. Maybe even the primary reason Trump avoided initiating direct conflicts for the U.S. and tried to get us out of our commitments elsewhere was for financial reasons. If Biden reneges on Trump’s peace deal with the Taliban, it’ll cost us a fortune–maybe forever.

    1. Libertarians ought to vote for the Libertarian Party. Trump is no libertarian. Yes, Biden/Harris are much worse than Trump to you, and to many libertarians, but not all.

      Don’t blame people who vote for their convictions. Blame Trump supporters who didn’t bother to vote.

  10. Sometimes I feel like Stephen before the Sanhedrin.

    Our job as libertarians was to look out for someone who was the kind who would cut $772 billion from Medicaid and would single-handedly destroy a $3.5 trillion stimulus package–in the middle of a recession and weeks before an election.

    You found him alright, and when you did–you crucified him.

    We may never see a greater feat of fiscal conservatism in our lifetimes.

    How embarrassing for you!

    1. But if I live in California and my vote doesn’t matter, I should vote Libertarian on principle…

  11. Great for you Ken.

    Years now you have worked to convince libertarians to surrender and become Trump Republicans.

    Destruction of the libertarian movement requires many hours of work. You have made that effort.

    1. How about (comparatively) fiscal conservative republicans that don’t start wars?

      That seems pretty good.

      1. How about a federal government that does it’s job as a Union of States for national defense instead of pretending to do everyone else’s job and ignoring their own?

    2. Are you not getting the point that Biden is campaigning on reorganizing our economy so as to maximize social equity under the guise of minimizing carbon emissions?

      Did you not see on his website where he promised to bankrupt the gun manufactures, ban assault weapons, set up a national system to track people who already own assault weapons, ban the sale of guns and ammo online, and set up a national confiscation policy?

      Are you not aware that he has consistently refused to promise not to pack the Supreme Court?

      The last I heard, Biden’s policy on Afghanistan was that we need to maintain a force of 8,000 American troops there indefinitely–in total contempt of the withdrawal agreement Trump negotiated and signed with the Taliban.

      Are you not aware that when the antitrust cases against Google and Facebook come to the consent decree phase, Biden will negotiate the speech rules for social media–and they may be in effect as long as the consent decree that ended the studio system and devastated the tobacco industry?

      The Democrats are openly demanding that the social media companies shut down criticism of the questionable activities of politicians like Biden as conspiracy theories. They’re openly calling for the social media companies to ban hate speech, which, in their book, appears to include opposition to immigration, opposition to abortion, opposition to affirmative action, and opposition to gay marriage as xenophobic, misogynistic, racist, and homophobic hate speech?

      The question of whether he accomplishes these things is not a function of how we feel about it or how fully we express our opposition to them by way of voting for the Libertarian party. The question of whether Biden accomplishes these things is only a matter of whether he wins office–and whether one or two more Democrat senators win.

      Sometimes, there isn’t much difference between what Bush Jr. or Obama do. This wasn’t one of those times. If Biden wins, he’ll fight for these things. If the Democrats win another senate seat or two, he will actually accomplish these things–over the objections of our protest vote or otherwise.

      If Hugo Chavez or Castro were running for office, and the alternative was Donald Trump, would you vote for the LP candidate? Wouldn’t you vote to stop authoritarian socialism from actually being implemented? There’s no reason you can’t still argue against tariffs and in favor of immigration with Trump in office. IO do it all the time! But Castro and Chavez will actually put authoritarian socialism into practice. If you’re the deciding reason why authoritarian socialism is put into practice, you’re not a principled libertarian capitalist. You’re betraying libertarian capitalism. You’re the reason authoritarian socialism is being implemented.

      Is Biden as bad as Castro or Chavez? Of course not! Regardless, if there’s a point at which a Democrat candidate is so bad that you’d stop supporting the LP candidate and vote for a Republican to prevent a bad actor from taking power, then that’s the way it should be. I’m here to tell you that Biden is far beyond that point–with the things he’s openly promised to do.

      Do you realize that because libertarians voted for the LP, Elizabeth Warren may be our next Secretary of the Treasury–working with the Fed to remake our economy in a way that’s more equitable and socially just?

      We could have been the ones that stopped that instead of the ones who enabled it.

      1. But, but, but, muh 51 Republicans in the Senate will stop this! When one of those Republicans is Susan Collins.

        I’m with you Ken. I don’t know what to say.

      2. “more equitable and socially just”

        FWIW, for some, Poe’s Law may apply here. What reasonable person could be against an “equitable” and “socially just” economy?

        1. Apparently you’re not familiar with the new euphemisms for socialist wealth redistribution.

          “Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment, which means “we all end up at the same place.”


          I oppose an equitable and a socially just economy–one that insists on an equitable redistribution of wealth and redistributes that wealth on the basis of various identities. And that’s because I’m a libertarian capitalist rather than an authoritarian socialist.

          If you don’t know the difference between capitalism and socialism, socialism is when industry is dominated by government, prices are set by government, and wealth is distributed by government. Capitalism is when when industry is dominated by private parties, prices are set by markets, and wealth is distributed by markets.

          Oh, and here’s another hint: Markets are people making choices.

          Libertarianism is when people are free to make choices for themselves, and authoritarianism is when the government restricts people’s choices.

          If you have some other definitions for these things, your definitions are wrong.

    3. “Libertarian movement”?

      0 EVs in all of history is not a movement. It is barely a club.

    4. How well do you suppose libertarians will fare under the Democrat boot?

      There are principles, and then there is a denial of pragmatism that lands you in a much worse positions. The margins created by insatiable “libertarians” voting for Jorgensen may well have given the race to Biden.

      Stake out your tress. The rest of the forest is on fucking fire.

  12. Okay Peanuts, check this out – Predictit has Georgia as a betting Biden fave at 65%


    Now that is some sorry Trump dick for you swallowers.


  13. Tom Bonier
    Another 1,800 or so votes counted in GA, of which Biden wins 71%. He’s tracking just above where needs to be in the remaining votes to win narrowly.
    9:28 PM · Nov 4, 2020

    That is some dope-ass shit Peanuts.

    Biden winning Georgia? I can’t believe it. Coin toss now.

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  15. $3.3T deficit projected for 2020. Trump signed every spending bill to reach his desk. Every. Single. One.

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