Republican lawmakers in 2011 brought the U.S. government to the brink of default, refused to raise the debt ceiling, demanded huge spending cuts, and insisted on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.
On Wednesday, they formally broke free from those fiscal principles and announced a plan that would add $500 billion in new spending over two years and suspend the debt ceiling until 2019. This came several months after Republicans passed a tax law that would add more than $1 trillion to the debt over a decade.
With all these changes, the annual gap between spending and revenue in 2019 is projected to eclipse $1.1 trillion, up from $439 billion in 2015. And they are expanding the deficit at an unusual time, when the economy is growing and unemployment is low, a dynamic that often leads to shrinking budget gaps.
“I don’t think there’s any question but that there’s a bury-your-head-in-the-sand view of the deficit and the debt issues relative to this Congress and this administration,” said former senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who once led the Senate Budget Committee.
Au contraire, mon frère. They know exactly what they are doing.
Inequality is rising. Return on capital is growing by leaps and bounds, while return on labor remains depressed. Average income in the United States falls far short of what is needed for a “middle class life style.” Workers are pissed off and angry.
Few offer any coherent solution. But the Republican establishment wants to postpone the day of reckoning by recklessly overheating an already hot economy—in the hope that, before the thing collapses altogether, some of the money trickles down to the working class–and they vote Republican in the next election.
The patient has brain cancer, but the doctor is prescribing an aspirin for his headache.