But that hope is now dashed under this president and Congress. The omnibus hiked discretionary spending 13 percent in a single year, while scraping the budget caps that were the singular achievement of reformers after the landmark 2010 election.
President Trump included substantial cuts in his recent budget, but signing the omnibus made a joke of his own proposals for fiscal restraint.
The GOP’s discretionary budget actions and the relentless rise of health care and retirement spending have put the budget on a catastrophic course.
Projections by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget show that, without reforms, deficits will top $1 trillion next year and $2.4 trillion by 2028, and continue growing after that.
With interest rates rising in coming years, the government will be rolling over more than $20 trillion in debt while borrowing a fresh trillion or two every year from capital markets.
As a share of the economy, debt is already the highest in our peacetime history, and the politicians have no plan to do anything about it. We appear to be headed toward a Greek‐style financial crisis, with interest rates spiking and the economy tanking.
No one knows the timing of the coming crisis, but we do know that younger generations will get hammered under the massive debt, which already amounts to $160,000 for every household in the nation.
Young people will be forced to pay a rising share of their earnings to foreign and domestic creditors. Today, Republicans champion tax cuts, but tomorrow their out‐of‐control spending threatens to turn young people into tax slaves.
People often say that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the real budget busters, not discretionary programs. But the omnibus is so discouraging because cutting low‐value discretionary programs should be an easy reform step before the bigger challenge of entitlements.
How are Republicans going to reform entitlements if they won’t even push cuts to wasteful liberal programs that GOP voters don’t care about?