With the recently announced two-year federal Budget Deal, discretionary spending will increase $2.7 trillion over the next two years. Knowing Iowa Republican Senators Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley along with Iowa Democrat House of Representatives Cindy Axne, Abby Finkenauer and David Loebsack voted yea, they have proven they no longer care about a balanced budget or deficits. Only Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) opposed the legislation.
During the 2020 re-election campaign endeavors, don’t fall prey to Sen. Ernst, Rep. Axne or Rep. Finkenauer touting they are a watch dog of your taxes, fiscally responsible and the Budget Deal was for the betterment of their constituents—a false claim. Loebsack is not seeking re-election, King has multiple challengers in 2020 and Grassley is up for re-election in 2022 when he will be 89 years old.
The Budget Deal permits the government to resume borrowing to pay its overdue bills and spend an additional $1.37 trillion—get this, per year. The legislation does nothing to stem the government’s out-of-control debt or address repaying $2.6 trillion deficits we’ve incurred since Trump came into office.
The Budget Deal will require the government to borrow 25 cents for every dollar the government spends. (Re-read that sentence to comprehend the severity of this irresponsible legislation.) The federal debt held by the public was $19.9 trillion when Trump took office, it currently sits at $22.5 trillion (78 percent of Gross Domestic Product) and analysts predict it will most likely increase to 92 percent of the economy by 2029.
Congress and the Trump administration ignored the Bipartisan Policy Center warning that trillion-dollar deficits will exist annually if no serious action is taken to increase revenues and curtail the ever-growing costs of social insurance programs. Trump and Congress even ignored a warning from their very own Congressional Budget Office that the federal budget is on an unsustainable path.
Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said “this (Budget Deal) agreement is a total abdication of fiscal responsibility. It may end up being the worst budget agreement in our nation’s history.” The conservative Wall Street Journal and Freedom Works succinctly summarized the action as “a bad budget deal” and “a disgrace,” respectively.
In 2016, Donald Trump promised to increase defense spending, balance the budget, eliminate the then $19.9 trillion federal debt and, let’s not forget, build a wall on America’s southern border the Mexican government would fund. Only a modicum of increased defense spending has come to fruition. In regards to our federal debt, $2.6 trillion has been added since Trump’s inauguration, it will topple $24 trillion by the end of Trump’s first term and, if re-elected, grow to $29 trillion by the end of his eight years in office. Under Trump, tax revenues have fallen dramatically, government spending has increased by 21 percent, federal debt has grown exponentially and it’s now proven Trump’s alleged business acumen was not a reason to elect him president.
With members of Congress spending four hours per day calling donors, PAC’s, lobbyists and corporations for re-election coffers instead of insuring for a fiscally solvent America, their after-me-you-come-first mantra rings loud and clear.
Once again, I ask my fellow fiscally responsible citizens, who account for 81 percent of Americans, to please give me one reason we should re-elect any current member of Congress (regardless of political affiliation) or Trump for that matter, who can’t or won’t give us a balanced budget and resolve the $22.5 trillion federal deficit while preferring to spend their time dialing-for-dollars, holding re-election rallies and hoodwinking their constituents by claiming to be fiscally responsible.
Steve Corbin is Professor Emeritus of Marketing, University of Northern Iowa, and a 1966 graduate of Nevada High School.