U.S.

Conservatives Rail Against Trump’s Ballooning Budget Deficit

The nation’s total public debt grew to a record high of $22 trillion this week as Donald Trump struggles to keep his 2016 campaign promise to lower the federal government’s budget deficit.

According to data recently released by the Treasury Department, the budget deficit totaled about $319 billion in the first quarter of 2019. That’s nearly a 42 percent increase from the same period as last year as debt continues to pile up under the Trump administration.

On Friday, while declaring a national emergency at the southern border over wall funding, Trump told reporters that he is going to focus on strengthening the military before he can focus on lowering the deficit.

"If we don't have a strong military, you don't have to worry about debt, you have bigger problems," he said at the press conference.

The Trump administration has argued that the country’s economic growth , which would result from the president’s tax plan, less government regulation and more spending on infrastructure, would eventually counteract the deficit.

But the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the budget deficit will continue to grow in the coming years. The office projects that this year the deficit will jump to $897 billion, which is an $100 billion increase from 2018’s deficit. Last year’s deficit had been the biggest since 2012.

Last month, the CBO estimated that annual deficits are heading toward the $1 trillion mark starting in 2022.

Conservatives are slamming the growing budget deficit and Republican lawmakers for going silent on the issue.

treasury department The U.S. Department of the Treasury building stands in Washington, D.C., on Friday, July 29, 2011. The nation’s total public debt grew to a record high of $22 trillion this week as President Trump struggles to keep his 2016 campaign promise to lower the federal government’s budget deficit. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Daniel Horowitz, a senior editor at the Conservative Review, wrote on Friday that the “GOP platform on debt and spending is a lie from top to bottom, as Republicans plan to pass more budget bills allowing us to blow through the budget caps without any effort to systemically reform the way we budget.”

Horowitz added that this “bipartisan era of debt is worse than anything we’ve seen this generation, and it is all happening with record revenue and a booming economy.”

The American Conservative also published a story this week criticizing the government’s handling of the budget deficit, writing that “Congress has stared into the abyss of debt, and the abyss has stared back. The national debt just topped $22 trillion for the first time ever, yet barely a peep was heard in the halls of the Capitol.”

Republican congressman Justin Amash criticized Trump for not discussing growing debt during his State of the Union address earlier this month.

“Finally, it’s unfortunate but not surprising that the president didn’t mention the massive national debt—overwhelmingly the result of reckless spending. He signed several of these disastrous bills into law. This spending is unsustainable and threatens the prosperity of Americans,” he wrote on Twitter.

Republicans have traditionally railed against their rival Democratic party, who they have blamed for being irresponsible. But under Trump the administration and party have been spending with abandon. The President has declared bankruptcy six times during his business career. 

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