Wed. Apr 17th, 2024


Welcome to the Republican rabbit hole of fiscal responsibility.

In 2011, the lugubrious Mitch McConnell warned that our national debt was making us “look a lot like Greece.” That same year, freshly installed congressional tea partiers threatened U.S. default unless a vote was held on a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. In 2013, the fictional wonk Paul Ryan sternly cautioned that a “debt crisis” might well be our doom, so naturally he laid out a budget proposal that contained $4.6 trillion of purely imaginary cuts, featuring those famous Ryanesque asterisks. In 2017, Trump proposed a budget that would abolish deficits within 10 years, although his plan was a trifle marred by the dynamic lunacy of wholly unrealistic scoring and, ahem, a $2 trillion arithmetic mistake.

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