Wake up, conservatives. Do deficits only matter under Democrats? After record spending that makes Obama look conservative, what are Republicans doing? Cutting a deal with Democrats to pass a bill increasing spending by $320 billion for liberal bureaucracies but not a penny for stepped-up ICE immigration enforcement.
The Congressional Budget Office announced earlier this week that the deficit for the first two months of fiscal year 2020 was $342 billion. That is an astounding number on many levels. It is 12 percent higher than last year, when we were already shocked at how quickly spending had increased under Republicans. Toward the end of Obama’s second term, annual deficits for the full 12 months were only about $500-$700 billion. However, the situation is even more appalling than under Obama.
For the first two months of FY 2010, the first fiscal year of Obama, the deficit was $296 billion. But that was amid the worst recession of a generation, with unemployment at 10 percent and people lining the rolls of unemployment benefits and food stamps. Revenues were also down sharply as a result of the recession and unemployment, buoying the deficits. Yet, here we are with record low 3.5 percent unemployment and record high revenue, yet deficits are even higher. It’s all because both parties won’t stop spending.
Whereas revenue for the first two months of FY 2010 stood at $269 billion, it was $471 billion for the first two months of this year. Yet spending for this year is at $814 billion as compared to $566 billion in FY 2010. What exactly are Republicans conserving?
Yes, it’s true that Medicare and Social Security are increasing on autopilot. Spending on those programs is up 6 percent each over this time last year. But spending on the Department of Education rose 25 percent, and spending on Medicaid rose 9 percent. There is no reason why Republicans couldn’t have dealt with those programs during the first two years of their trifecta control. The problem is Republicans support the Medicaid scam and the Department of Education. Their campaign for limited government was all built on a lie.
Republicans also like to hide behind military spending. Spending on the military rose 7 percent. But what is the point of constantly increasing military spending if we won’t defend our own border, we retain 3.3 million criminal aliens in our country, we invite hundreds of thousands of Chinese students in for China to exploit our intellectual property for espionage, and we bring in millions of migrants and even military students from the Middle East? Perhaps, if we refocused our military to what it can and should deter and implemented proper immigration and homeland security policies, we wouldn’t have to throw more money at the military-industrial complex, but would still have an effective fighting force.
Yet rather than having a budget fight on any of these things this week, Republicans are agreeing to lock in a deal from earlier this year in the spending bill to increase spending to the tune of $320 billion, but not add an extra penny for border security or ICE deportations, at a time when our security depends on it more than ever.
This is the big lie that is being perpetuated in politics. As the parties fight over impeachment and soap operas, they get together and agree on the fundamentals of the republic in the budget bill and defense authorization bill with little dissent. And Trump will sign both bills.
At some point, those who work in conservative politics, policy, media, or communications need to ask themselves if results and outcomes matter or if this entire charade is all about talking points and earning a living. At least conservatives in Great Britain finally rose up and demanded results: “Brexit means Brexit,” was their refrain. We thought electing Trump was our Brexit, but clearly nothing will change so long as those who claim to speak for conservatives remain silent on every important policy issue during the never-ending soap opera. When will MAGA mean MAGA?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.