How progressives can criticize Trump’s $7 trillion deficit without preaching austerity

Source: In These Times
by Kate Aronoff

“Deficit spending isn’t a sign of moral or economic failure. But looking at the headlines about the Trump administration’s last few weeks of economic policymaking, you might think otherwise. Referring to Democrats and Republicans both, The Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson bemoans that, ‘Ever-larger budget deficits have become their means of making policy and practicing politics.’ He points to the $1.7 trillion spending agreement reached last week, the $1.4 trillion tax plan passed recently and the White House’s 2019 budget proposal, which — if passed in full (something that basically never happens) — would add $7 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade. As John Cassidy at the New Yorker puts it, ‘the country’s finances will be in a wretched state once the GOP’s recent tax-cut bill is fully enacted.’ He laments the ‘sea of red ink that now stretches into the indefinite future.’ We have to ‘keep the deficit numbers in check,’ he says. But Republicans ([allegedly] committed to small government and even smaller budgets) simply aren’t up to the task. The irony!” [editor’s note: Sure is funny to see a “progressive” pundit being the voice of reason on economics – SAT] (02/13/18)

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