As Donald Trump readies to take the oath of office next week, he will not only assume charge of the most powerful nation in the world, but he will also oversee the world’s largest economy. And Trump will be aided in his oversight of our economy by a Congress controlled by a Republican Senate and Republican House.
It’s been ten years since our nation was led by a Republican-controlled trifecta (Presidency, Senate & House). The last time this occurred George W. Bush was President. When the “conservative” Bush left office in 2009, with Republicans having controlled the Senate and House for half of Bush’s eight years in office, our 43rd President had doubled the national debt to just over $10 trillion with his deficit spending policies.
Eight years later though, as Barack Obama is leaving office, our published national debt is on the verge of surpassing $20 trillion. (I say “published” debt since our unfunded liabilities exceed $100 trillion, a topic that I discussed in my previous article, American: The Point of No Return?) If ever there was a financial house that is spinning out of control, it is ours.
Many in America are hopeful with our new President about to take office. Trump’s no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is attitude attracted tens of millions of voters to support him. His willingness to say what many were thinking no doubt won him the election. Further, Trump’s 50 year track record in business convinced many voters that he was the man to turn around our economy and create a thriving, fiscally sound America.
Donald Trump: The $10 Trillion Man?
But this last week, Senator Rand Paul took to the Senate floor to rail against his own Republican colleagues as seen in this powerful video. According to Paul, under the plan to repeal Obamacare, Republicans will likely be voting in favor of a budget that would increase the nation’s debt by another $10 trillion over the next ten years, matching Obama’s own dismal performance. This slide from Paul’s presentation illustrates the point the Senator was making.
Senator Paul began his speech with the famous lines, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” And he could not be more accurate. For all the talk of “draining the swamp” in Washington, what may stay the same, based on Republican’s track record, is the unwillingness of Republican politicians to stem the growth of our dangerous national debt. (To be fair, some are suggesting that this “shell” budget will be replaced with a second one in the not too distant future, which will bring spending down and ultimately balance our nation’s budget. But that remains to be seen and should be viewed with extreme skepticism.)
Republicans were fond of lobbing threats of government shutdowns, making incessant demands for balanced budgets and excoriating Obama and Democrats for their own deficit spending during the Obama era. And rightly so. But now that they are in the drivers seat, is it actually possible that Republicans will do no better? Will they maintain the fiscally ruinous course upon which our nation is set?
Where are the Tea Party & Fiscal Conservatives?
Eerily silent as the Republicans take control of Washington, are the groups that heretofore have been the voices of fiscal reason, and have historically led the way in demanding that our elected officials spend no more than they collect in revenues. And their silence is deafening.
The tea party movement, of which I have been an active part since its founding in 2009, all but abandoned its defense of fiscal soundness, during the general campaign in 2016. Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s preeminent coalition of tea party members and groups, and many other conservative watchdogs, said nothing about Trump’s calamitous economic plan. This despite the fact the new President’s plan could add up to $20 trillion to our nation’s debt, according to a recent study by Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Their report revealed that our nation’s federal debt would soar to $39.5 Trillion by 2026, double the current debt.
But now the day has arrived and Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been handed Washington to them on a silver plater by frustrated and angry voters. Those voters elected Trump because of their disdain for politicians who consistently promise one thing but deliver something altogether different.
A Call to Action
We’ve all been told, “it matters who governs.” But it will only be true if grassroots Americans do more than simply vote. They… or we must remain engaged. Our voices must be heard in an unprecedented, unmistakable, and unambiguous manner! Trump and our Senators and Representatives must know that they were not elected to maintain the fiscal status quo.
The Tea Party, and all fiscally conservative Americans, must, like Rand Paul, call out Republicans and Donald Trump. We must warn them that they were not elected to put the final nail in our fiscal coffin.
Trump cares not about the media, the social elite, the Hollywood snobs, or the connected wealthy, as he once again reaffirmed this week in his most recent press conference and barrage of tweets. But I do believe there is one demographic to whom Trump will listen: the grassroots, the blue collar workers, the forgotten middle class, and the traditional American, who still believe that if you work hard and play by the rules, you will be rewarded.
So it is incumbent on you and me to reach out… once again, to an elite ruling class. It is necessary for us to remind them that we sent them to Washington to repudiate the status quo by restoring fiscal responsibility; honoring the Constitution; and empowering the free market. Reestablishing these three pillars, which are the core values of the tea party movement, will enable our great ship of state to slowly but surely reset its course in the direction of real prosperity, the kind that our Founding Fathers envisioned. But as we do the work to reshape our nation, let us never forget that fiscal prosperity will only flow from men and women of decent, moral character. And we will only “Make America Great Again” if we first Make America Good Again, as I discussed in my previous article of the same title.
So will you join me in engaging with our elected officials? Will you pick up the phone and call, or fire off an email to Donald Trump, your Senators & Congressman to express your views about the upcoming budget battles? I trust you will. (Click on the highlighted links for their contact info.)