After seven years of fitful declines, the federal budget deficit is projected to begin swelling again, adding nearly $10 trillion to the federal debt over the next 10 years, according to projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that reveal the strain that government debt will have on the economy as President Trump embarks on plans to slash taxes and ramp up spending.
In a stunning move, the Republican-led U.S. Senate has just passed a concurrent budget resolution that will increase the federal debt by a whopping 10 trillion dollars. Under the questionable leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate voted to authorize a national debt of over $29 trillion over the next years.
The judgment by the Congressional Budget Office did not back up the president’s promise of providing health care for everyone but may help bring in rebellious conservatives. The House Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would increase the number of people without health insurance by 24 million by 2026, while slicing $337 billion off federal budget deficits over that time, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Monday.
Donald Trump has now spent enough time listening to Republican economic advisers that he can give an interview to The Economist in which he attempts to regurgitate the ideas that have been fed him. At various points in the interview, Trump tries and fails to think of the word “reciprocity.” (“We need reciprocality in terms of our trade deals,” he asserts.) Asked to flesh out his vision for a fair NAFTA in more detail, he can only come up with synonyms for “big”:
The billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch spent much of the eight years of the Obama presidency stoking fears about the budget deficit. Now that Republicans control all levers of power in Washington and the Koch brothers are poised to reap a windfall of billions of dollars through tax cuts, they have a new message: Don’t worry about the deficit.
In 2015, Republicans changed the budget rules in Congress so that official scorekeepers would be required to analyze the potential economic impact of major legislation when determining how it would affect federal revenues. But on Thursday, hours before they were set to vote on the largest tax cut Congress has considered in years, Senate Republicans opened an assault on that scorekeeper, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and its analysis, which showed the Senate plan would not, as lawmakers contended, pay for itself but would add $1 trillion to the federal budget deficit.
There is a long-running, almost metaphysical, argument about the GOP’s deficit hawkery. One school of thought holds that it has always been pure cynicism. Republicans passed the Bush tax cuts without offsets and paid for neither Medicare Part D nor the Iraq War. When they began decrying the deficit and debt during President Obama’s administration, under this theory, it was nothing but opportunistic political attacks, and it was obvious they would be abandoned as soon as Republicans regained power.
Speaking on the Senate floor ahead of the vote, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, called the Republican approach “a process and a product that no one can be proud of and everyone should be ashamed of.” He went on to warn that changes made to the bill “under the cover of darkness” would “stuff even more money into the pockets of the wealthy and the biggest corporations while raising taxes on millions in the middle class.”
Last week, in a development first reported by The Washington Post, the Treasury Department quietly released data estimating its 2018 borrowing needs would check in at $955 billion, then top $1 trillion in the next two fiscal years. Those sums are considerably higher than last year's $519 billion in debt issued, and an upward revision to estimates released by the Treasury in late 2017.
Left-leaning economists hate the timing and the composition. But the expansionary fiscal policy they sought is on the way. The fiscal austerity that drove the budget deficit from around 9 percent of G.D.P. in 2010 to 3 percent in 2016 has, for practical purposes, been abandoned. First, Republicans passed a $1.5 trillion tax bill in December that sharply cut rates on businesses. Then last week they made a deal to undo budget caps demanded by the Republican House in 2011. President Trump signed that bill on Friday.