Republicans Are Very, Very Bad For the Deficit

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Robert Samuelson is worried about the deficit. That’s no surprise since he’s always worried about the deficit. But this is a head scratcher:

Let’s concede that higher deficits are one problem that can’t be blamed on President Trump. Since the 1970s and 1980s, Democrats and Republicans alike have evaded the hard questions required to balance the budget.

Why can’t we blame President Trump? Let’s run the tape:

  • Under Jimmy Carter the deficit shrank.
  • Then Ronald Reagan cut taxes on the rich and blew up the deficit.
  • Under Bill Clinton the deficit shrank. In fact, it went away!
  • Then George Bush cut taxes on the rich and blew up the deficit.
  • Under Barack Obama the deficit expanded to tackle the Great Recession and then shrank and stabilized.
  • Then Donald Trump—a totally orthodox Republican in this respect—cut taxes on the rich and blew up the deficit.

Just how long does this cycle have to repeat before Washington centrists finally admit the obvious? I don’t care a lot about the deficit myself, but if I did I’d take a blood oath to never vote for a Republican again.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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