Paul Ryan

Feb 28, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan arrives for a joint session of Congress address by President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol. Mandatory Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

REARDON: New Budget Deal Is 'Fiscal Insanity'

Mark Reardon
February 09, 2018 - 4:19 pm
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I’m old enough to remember when Republicans cared about the debt and deficit. I think it was actually waaaaaayyy back in 2016 when ALL of them campaigned on promises to reign in federal spending and shrink the size of government. It didn’t take very long for those promises to go out the window based on the new budget deal passed this week.
 
Actually that also happened late last year when the new tax bill passed that projected to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion. But this deal increases the federal budget by $300 billion and isn’t offset by other savings. The call by conservatives to have the hundreds of billions in new spending countered with cuts only accounts for one third of the plan.

Senator Rand Paul and a host of other fiscal conservatives tried to fight it - House Freedom Caucus member Dave Brat (R-VA) called it a “Christmas tree on steroids.” Senator Rand Paul, apparently one of the only remaining fiscal hawks, said it’s “a terrible, no good, rotten way to run your government."
 
Republican Congressman John Shimkus from Illinois told me this week there was no other way to reach an agreement based on the makeup of the Senate and the need for 60 votes to get the plan over the finish line. That might be true, but voters who supported Republican candidates in 2016 in part did so because of promises to do exactly the opposite of what happened this week and last year with the tax bill. Massive spending increases with no regard to the consequences is the definition of “fiscal insanity” to quote Rep. Jusin Amash (R-MI)…and he’s right. That used to be a philosophy that nearly all Republicans espoused. Not so much anymore.  
 
Here’s the bigger political issue for Republicans moving forward, and I’m not quite sure why they don’t get this. Anyone who has defended or rationalized President Trump’s bad moral behavior or questionable tweets has FOREVER abandoned any right to be critical of anyone on the left for similar misdeeds. The same principal applies here as well - don’t try to rip Democrats for reckless fiscal policy moving forward because you’ve now sacrificed that chip.
 
The swamp isn’t getting drained, it’s getting thicker, more smelly and rotten with every passing month. Congrats to my GOP friends! Nice work.