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DC's Insatiable Urge to Splurge

Debra Saunders on

Last month, trustees for Social Security and Medicare let forth the grim news. Medicare Part A will be insolvent by 2026, and Social Security will follow in 2034. In years past, Washington would have considered the report a call to arms for fiscal responsibility.

Apparently unperturbed by news that could spell 9% cuts in Medicare Part A in five years, President Joe Biden still is pushing a $3.5 trillion spending framework to fund his cradle-to-grave wish list of federal spending.

Biden also has proposed a $2 trillion American Jobs Plan for what he calls infrastructure -- the Senate passed a $1 trillion version of the measure -- and a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was enacted in March.

Under the "Build Back Better" banner, Biden is pushing paid family and medical leave, a bigger child tax credit, subsidized child care, more subsidized health care, universal pre-K and tuition-free community college.

The national debt is $28.7 trillion, thanks in part to $5 trillion spent over the last 18 months in response to the coronavirus, Sen. Joe Manchin, D- W.Va., warned in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal in which he called for a pause in big spending.

Republicans used to champion balanced federal budgets -- even if Republican presidents such as George W. Bush spent more than the government took in.

 

President Donald Trump campaigned for office bashing then-President Barack Obama's doubling of the $10 trillion national debt to just under $20 trillion.

That didn't stop Trump from pushing tax cuts that helped increase the national debt by close to $7 trillion.

In 2019, Trump's then-Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney confessed the federal government would spend at least $1 trillion more than it took in for every year Trump held the White House.

Speaking at a Peter G. Peterson Foundation event, Mulvaney, who entered public life as a fiscal hawk, offered, "We are not going to cut our way to balance." And: "There is no center of gravity for reduced spending in this town."

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