It was quite rich, on multiple levels, for President Joe Biden on Monday to blame the “reckless tax and spending policies” of the Trump administration for the need to raise the debt ceiling now.
The claim came as part of a rant by the 46th president against those darn Republicans for supposedly blocking the Democrats’ plans to raise the debt ceiling through 2022.
Reminder to Joe Biden: The Democrats control the House and Senate, and he of course occupies the White House.
“The reason we have to raise the debt limit is, in part, because of the reckless tax and spending policies under the previous Trump administration,” Biden said.
“In four years, they incurred nearly $8 trillion. In four years, $8 trillion in additional debt and bills we have to now pay off. That’s more than a quarter of the entire debt incurred now outstanding after more than 200 years.”
"The reason we have to raise the debt limit is, in part, because of the reckless tax and spend policies under the previous Trump Admin," President Biden says.
"In four years, they incurred nearly $8 trillion." pic.twitter.com/M7uyFKXNM5
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 4, 2021
Here are a few more reminders. The national debt nearly doubled (from approximately $10 trillion to $20 trillion) under the Obama-Biden administration, while the U.S. experienced its first trillion-dollar-plus deficits ever.
In fact, the first four years of that administration saw deficits of over $1 trillion as the Obama-Biden team oversaw the worst economic recovery since World War II.
By contrast, there were no trillion-dollar or more deficits during the first three years of Trump’s presidency as the nation saw strong economic growth and the unemployment rate fell to a 50-year low.
Then of course came the pandemic and unprecedented spending by the federal government as it directed the economy to shut down for the first time in U.S. history.
So, Mr. President, if the spending on COVID was “reckless,” the Democrats certainly had their hand in it.
Republicans were not on board, because so little of the legislation actually had to do with COVID relief.
Biden and his fellow Democrats like to harp on the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as the prime example of former President Donald Trump’s reckless tax-and-spend ways.
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimated that the bill would reduce federal revenues by $1.47 trillion over ten years; however, $600 billion of that would be made up due to increased economic growth, so the net cost would be about $448 billion on a dynamic scoring basis.
All this seems like peanuts compared to the Democrats’ plans. They want to roll back much of the Trump tax cuts on businesses and individuals that produced the best economy in a generation.
Instead, the Democrats seek to add vast new entitlements, starting with their $3.5 trillion human infrastructure bill and an additional $1.2 trillion in more traditional infrastructure spending.
All this, mind you, as businesses are just getting back on their feet following the pandemic.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has told Biden that if he wants to raise the debt ceiling so the Democrats can go on a spending spree, they’ll have to do it on their own.
“McConnell for months has said that Democrats should use the budget reconciliation process to get around the Senate’s filibuster rule, which requires 60 of 100 members to agree to pass most legislation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, has refused to use that approach, and Biden on Monday pleaded for Republicans not to block action with the filibuster,” Reuters reported.
Schumer could use the budget reconciliation process to vote on a debt ceiling bill and still bring the $3.5 trillion social spending bill to the floor.
McConnell noted in a Monday letter to Biden, “All year your party has chosen to pursue staggering, ‘transformational’ spending through unprecedented use of the party-line reconciliation process.”
He recounted how Democrats are looking to spend trillions more without Republican support.
“Bipartisanship is not a light switch that Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Majority] Leader [Chuck] Schumer may flip on to borrow money and flip off to spend it,” McConnell said.
My letter to President Biden this morning on congressional Democrats’ duty to handle the debt limit: pic.twitter.com/U3G9QMPJwY
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) October 4, 2021
“Republicans’ position is simple. We have no list of demands. For two and a half months, we have simply warned that since your party wishes to govern alone, it must handle the debt limit alone as well.”
McConnell closed his letter calling on the president to engage directly with congressional Democrats to raise the debt ceiling because they have all the power they need to make it happen.
That’s a perfectly reasonable and appropriate position to take.
Biden and the Democrats are making the spending of the previous administration look like child’s play.
If their reckless spending is left unchecked, it could truly lead to the bankrupting of the country.