That was a charge leveled at me by a very devoted Progressive Liberal Leftists Democrat recently. He said, “Roy, you wouldn’t criticize Trump if he took a dump on Pennsylvania Avenue in the middle of rush hour.” I laughed, and asked, “Is that the best you can do?” He was trying to use hyperbole and sarcasm to prove his point and I laughed. I have said from the beginning of this administration that I will applaud that which I believe to be good for America and Constitutional and criticize that which I believe is wrong on both counts.
Now, let me put on my ‘critic’s hat’ and talk about the Deficit and Debt. However, to talk about that I must place my focus on what is causing the current deficit and point my finger at those truly the blame. If some of that falls on the President, so be it. What is driving the deficit? The simplistic answer is spending. If that were my only response I would rightly be labeled Mr. Obvious. The Budget is the problem and the method by which we arrive at our budgetary numbers is as well. What we are spending money on is a culprit and the unwillingness of those in Congress to address those issues is problematic. We are where we are because of a lack of fiscal restraint, judicious budgeting, and unrestrained and ever-growing entitlements. Those are some, not all, the causes.
The Tea Party formed largely because many of us were alarmed at the National Debt reaching $13 Trillion and climbing at an alarming rate. That concern and unification of conservative voices spanning a very wide spectrum of our society gave the Republicans the House of Representatives and then in 2014 they gained control of the Senate. Most of us, who identified with or participated in the Tea Party Movement believed this was going to result in some needed measures to stem the fiscal hemorrhaging. Sadly, those Republicans capitulated to the Democrats so frequently and feared standing up to President Obama we saw little of the desired result fiscally.
The National Debt has now climbed to $22 Trillion and growing at an alarming rate. That is not what we hoped for or expected when President Trump was elected. We knew it would take time to apply the proper tourniquet and hoped for the Republicans to keep the House and do their jobs. They failed to do that on several fronts and now the bleeding is likely to not only continue but escalate during the next two years. Who do we blame for this hemorrhaging of money we do not have? My simple answer is everyone in Washington. But, the answer is far more complicated than a simplistic statement.
With the Democrats in control of Congress for the next two years, the budgetary funding for Immigration is and should be a major concern. Will they provide funds for border defense and security? It is not likely. Will they seek to provide more funds for entitlements which include the illegals sneaking into or walking into our country? Without question, they will. During the years the Republicans held the House of Representatives the national debt grew by $8 Trillion. Yes, Obama was President, but the Republicans could and should have offered more resistance in giving him everything he wanted in the budgetary process.
About 88% of that debt came from the public share. President Trump’s Office of Management and Budget has introduced budget cuts but, as usual, Congress’ use of Baseline Budgeting has taken cuts and made them increases. The smoke and mirrors of that type of budgeting are dangerous and should end. We need a Zero-Based Budget, not a Baseline Budget.
Spending has increased and according to some studies, without drastic measures, our debt will continue to increase into perpetuity even during robust economies. It is estimated that the debt will be over 175% of our GDP in 30 years without some immediate and gut-wrenching reductions. Guess who that would make us? You guessed it if you said Greece. Destruction from self-inflicted fiscal wounds is becoming a real possibility for our Republic.
Unfortunately, those in Congress on both sides of the aisle have been reluctant to talk about ‘spending cuts’. I am in favor of tax cuts because they truly spur the economy but if you cut taxes and fail to cut spending even with the increased revenue you perpetuate the debt problem. We are at a critical point fiscally and some estimates that I trust have reported that in the next fiscal year we will spend as much money on interest as we spend on Medicaid. That should knock your socks off. Medicaid is a black hole of fiscal costs that is unsustainable and if we have more interest on our debt than that expenditure, we are murdering ourselves.
Allowing the debt to continue to grow, as it is, will mean higher interest rates and that will prove to be bad for the economy. It will also mean that there are less private investments and the revenue stream will begin to dry up. The result will be increased taxes rather than reduced spending and the vicious cycle will continue until our economy completely collapses.
We need for the President to use his veto pen to ensure that his desired budget proposals are enacted. The Republicans in Congress needs to stop being participants in the debt increases that the Democrats are proponents of. America, we are in trouble fiscally. I am concerned and somewhat convinced that if President Trump stands his ground on spending and the Republicans back his play it will prove costly in 2020. If he allows the debt and deficit to continue to expand at the current rate he will be blamed. If he takes measures to stop this disaster, he will be blamed for hurting people. He is in a no-win situation Unless those of us not in government can rally enough support and educate enough people of the real problem the days look dark.
If we continue the path of ever increasing entitlements for everyone and the unrestrained and unsustainable spending, we destroy ourselves. Conservatives and Constitutionalist need to unify and send a message to Washington that we not only expect but demand fiscal restraint and genuine reduced spending. With our federal revenue up, we could be reducing the deficit not expanding it. But, Republicans and Democrats alike are afraid to take the politically dangerous stance of belt-tightening. My Congresswoman and both Senators hear from me about the budget and will continue to hear my arguments for not only reduced spending but a shift from the Baseline approach to the Zero-Based method. That goes for every expenditure of our government, both foreign and domestic.
God bless you and God bless America!