Well, of course.
It wasn’t long ago that Republicans were hair-on-fire obsessed with the deficit and the nation’s multi-trillion-dollar debt. Though the purpose of the Tea Party “movement” was always a bit murky, it was ostensibly about the right’s overwhelming anxiety about the United States’ fiscal imbalance. The irony of these Republicans’ concerns went largely overlooked.
After all, as a percentage of the economy, Ronald Reagan was responsible for some of the largest deficits in American history. After the deficit disappeared entirely under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush added trillions to the debt.
It was in 2003 when then-Vice President Dick Cheney declared that “deficits don’t matter.”
After Barack Obama shaved a trillion dollars off the deficit in his first seven years, the deficit is soaring again under Donald Trump – and Cheney’s adage is back as a governing principle.
First, let me correct the record. The Tea Party “movement” was about a bunch of old white people who were adamantly opposed to the idea of a black man as president. Period. The End. They disguised it rather clumsily by saying they were opposed to the deficit, but that was pure racist bullshit and everyone knew it.
That said, however, the Republicans have always been against the deficit as long as a Democrat was in the White House, and they carried on about it when they found themselves out of office and leaving their mess for someone else to clean up. They campaigned to get back in office so they could run up the deficit again on weapons or border walls or whatever the boogedy-boogedy scare-the-base theme was in a particular election cycle: Communism, abortions, or gays living their lives.
Everybody knew the Trump tax cuts would explode the deficit and blame it on the last guy, and when the Democrats win back the White House they’ll be blamed for bringing it back under control because that’s how this stupid shit works.