Welcome back, fiscally conservative Republicans. Where have you been? The GOP is only fiscally conservative when out of power, it seems.

President Ronald Reagan constantly talked about a balanced budget amendment but never actually proposed a balanced budget. Instead, with tax cuts and huge spending, he started the era of massive deficits.

Democratic President Bill Clinton suddenly gave Republicans deficit phobia and the age of government shutdown shenanigans began. Then a big-spending liberal bill balanced the budget.

Prescient President George W. Bush came along, and Republicans immediately returned to tax cuts and massive spending in a wild deficit orgy.

President Barack Obama, elected amidst a dire economic crisis, followed macroeconomic principles by increasing spending and kept the recession from becoming a depression.

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But Republicans can’t abide deficits when they don’t control the White House, it seems, so the Tea Party pressured Obama to cut deficits in half before leaving office.

Then came President Donald Trump, and fiscal conservatives once again went into the closet. Huge tax cuts and massive spending resulted once again in trillion-dollar deficits during what Trump said was the best economy ever in history.

Now a Democrat is in the White House again, and congressional “fiscal conservative” Republicans are scurrying out from beneath the refrigerator, threatening not only shutdowns but a permanently damaging default on bills that they helped run up!

Can Republicans out of power force some fiscal sanity? It’s doubtful. They never do when they’re in power.

Jim Furnas

Cloquet




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