Most Republicans in Congress, along with the Republican president, supported tax cuts and increased spending, consequently raising the projected deficits for 2018 and 2019 by nearly $380 billion a year. This is an increase of almost 2 percent of GDP — roughly the size of the stimulus pushed through by Barack Obama at the trough of the recession in 2009. That’s real money.
There are grounds on which the merits of the tax cuts can be debated, although it does seem hard to justify giving still more money to the country’s richest people. There are also arguments for the spending — although the increases for the military, which got the majority of the additional spending, may be hard to justify.
But one thing is not debatable. The Republicans who supported this tax cut and additional spending do not place a priority on deficit reduction and balanced budgets.
While this deduction should be obvious, sort of like Kim Jong-un not being a big promoter of human rights, many in the media feel the need to tell us the opposite. There is a never-ending flow of articles telling us about how Republicans feel the “urgency” to reduce the deficit, or that they are not concerned about deficits created by the tax cut because they “embrace” the belief that the tax cut will pay for itself with additional growth.
There is one point that should be very clear by now: Republicans do not act like people who are concerned about budget deficits. Given the opportunity, they pursue policies that increase budget deficits. This is not just true in the present; it was also true when George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were in the White House.
In each case, Republican administrations had large tax cuts which substantially reduced government revenue. While they did push…