They have in fact campaigned on a platform including a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. Never mind that this is insane, as any economist will tell you. Paul Ryan built a reputation among the journalistic classes as a serious policy wonk by claiming he had a plan to eliminate the federal deficit, which if you actually read it was nothing of the sort. But still.
The reporters continued to regurgitate this fiction as conventional wisdom and uncontested fact -- the Republicans were fiscally responsible, the Democrats were profligate -- without noticing the True Fact that the federal deficit ballooned under Reagan and Bush the First, and then declined to zero under Clinton. That's right folks, the last time we had a balanced federal budget, William Jefferson Clinton was president of the United States. Then, under George Bush the Second, the deficit ballooned again. Then, under Barack Hussein Obama, the Kenyan usurper, it ultimately declined, despite the entirely necessary and appropriate, though inadequate, fiscal stimulus at the beginning of the Obama administration. (The debt increased under Obama, as it always will if the deficit is more than zero. People often confuse these.) Well, you know what's happened now. The Party of Fiscal Responsibility has complete control of every branch of the federal government. And the deficit has exploded with no end in sight. Specifically:
The U.S. federal budget deficit rose in fiscal 2018 to the highest level in six years as spending climbed . . . . The deficit jumped to $779 billion, $113 billion or 17 percent higher than the previous fiscal period, according to a statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. It was larger than any year since 2012, when it topped $1 trillion.Not to worry! We have a strong leader in charge who always wins! He will fix this problem, because he loves us so much.
Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s aides and advisers have tried to convince him of the importance of tackling the national debt.
Sources close to the president say he has repeatedly shrugged it off, implying that he doesn’t have to worry about the money owed to America’s creditors—currently about $21 trillion—because he won’t be around to shoulder the blame when it becomes even more untenable.
The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the national debt in the not-too-distant future. In response, Trump noted that the data suggested the debt would reach a critical mass only after his possible second term in office.
“Yeah, but I won’t be here,” the president bluntly said, according to a source who was in the room when Trump made this comment during discussions on the debt.
But to Cokie and the gang, the Republican party is the Party of Fiscal Responsibility, eternally and ineluctably, now and always.