Boyle: Trump keeps focusing on the economy, but what about the deficit?

Alexander R.M. Boyle: Trump keeps focusing on the economy, but what about the deficit?
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The GOP hypocrisy. It burns.

By now, many are aware that our federal government ended last year with a deficit that surpassed $1 trillion and a national debt of more than $23 trillion. During his campaign for the presidency, President Donald Trump’s inconsistent boasts about our fiscal affairs ranged all the way from asserting that he would “pay off the entire national debt” to calling himself “The King of Debt, ” apparently a reference to his aggressive use of leverage in his real estate investments. It’s now clear that the latter prevailed. Very little attention has been given in the press to the significance of a $1 trillion federal deficit at a time when the economy is growing and unemployment is at a historically low level. It should receive much more attention. Politicians of all stripes seem to believe that the general public views deficits and debt as abstract concepts, and folks’ eyes tend to glaze over at such complex and unpleasant subjects. That just means we must do a better job of explaining the true significance of these issues. We have to make sure that people understand that when the government spends more each year than it takes in via taxes, we have a deficit. This deficit then adds to the national debt, now over $23 billion. Do “deficits” and “debt” really matter, or can we just ignore them? In the past, our political leaders felt that deficits and debt were important. “Fiscal responsibility” was a term generally embraced by both major parties, […]

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