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.