Sunday, June 21, 2020

Bill Crawford: Trump Spends More than Obama

In December 1985 President Ronald Reagan signed the Gramm-Ruddman Act mandating a balanced federal budget by fiscal year 1991.
“The American people expect their elected officials to take action now to reduce the size of government and to set upon a reasonable and equitable course to eliminate federal budget deficits,” the conservative, Republican president said.

It took until 2001 and it happened under President Bill Clinton, but Gramm-Ruddman started a fiscal discipline process that eventually brought the budget in line.

Then came President George W. Bush and fiscal discipline went out the window through unfunded war spending, Medicare expansion, and TARP.

After Bush, the Tea Party pushed Republicans back on board the fiscal discipline wagon, e.g. in 2009, all Republican members of the House voted "no" on President Barrack Obama's $800 billion Great Recession bailout bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That was followed by years of Republicans lambasting Obama for huge deficits as his administration coped with the economic devastation of the Great Recession. The influx of Tea Party Republicans in Congress helped Republicans take control of the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014.

Now comes President Donald J. Trump and fiscal discipline is once again out the window. (Where is the Tea Party?)

Already facing trillion dollar annual deficits from Trump endorsed spending and revenue cuts, in March all but two Republican members of the House voted "aye" on Trump's $2.3 trillion pandemic bailout bill, the CARES Act (three times bigger than Obama’s bailout bill). And Trump is preparing a request for another $2 trillion in unfunded spending.

Obama’s biggest annual deficit was $1.4 trillion. Trump’s may exceed $3 trillion as he, too, copes with economic devastation.

How do conservatives explain their flip flop from Obama to Trump?

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio gave it a try. “These are not normal times," he told The Hill. "The circumstances in which we live in now have no precedent, at least for 70 years.”

“Our country is in a crisis," said Tea Party champion Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. "Small businesses are closing their doors, millions of workers are losing their jobs, and entire industries are on the brink of collapse.”


The Great Recession was normal times and the country wasn’t in a crisis?

In addition to pushing conservative Republicans to spend and spend, Trump has been able to coax the Federal Reserve to create trillions in additional monetary relief. Heavily criticized by conservatives for greatly expanding its balance sheet and pumping money into the economy while Obama was president, the Fed has gone far beyond that at Trump's urging.

“A person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs,” is how defines the word hypocrite.


After spending more outrageously than liberal Democrats, it will be interesting to see how conservative Republicans dodge this label heading into November elections.

"The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them," Proverbs 11:3.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.


Anonymous said...

G-Ruddman-Hollins (as in Fritz) was a giant cluster charlie-foxtrot. Not sure why the columnist even brings it up. More 'don't piss on my leg' economics.

Anonymous said...

It's laughable with the chaos going on in our streets right now this guy is worried about a balanced budget. It's like, your house is burning down- make sure you take out the trash!

The budget will never be balanced. The national debt will never be paid off. What we need to focus on is order, morality and justice- the kind of justice that means putting criminals behind bars, not the fake justice that means letting criminals back into our neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

No, Clinton did not balance the budget.
Some people still like to think he did.
If you still believe Clinton balanced the budget just do a search on how much our government borrowed each year.

Anonymous said...

Bill Clinton Added $1.396 trillion, a 32% increase from the $4.4 trillion debt at the end of George H.W. Bush's last budget, FY 1993.

FY 2001 - $133 billion
FY 2000 - $18 billion
FY 1999 - $130 billion
FY 1998 - $113 billion
FY 1997 - $188 billion
FY 1996 - $251 billion
FY 1995 - $281 billion
FY 1994 - $281 billio

Anonymous said...

Ted Cruz is ok with Trump calling his wife ugly - you really think he cares about anything besides himself? The hypocricy is nothing new or unexpected from any of the future inmates running this joke of a party.

Mike in Clinton said...

This article is horse hockey on several levels.....

The COVID-19 relief spending was concocted and passed by Congress. It is totally unfair to pin 2020 spending solely on the President. But if there was ever a time to borrow money, wouldn't it be when the government mandated the whole economy shut down?

The balanced budget in the late 1990's had nothing at all to do with Bill Clinton. The GOP's "contract with America" and takeover of Congress was a big factor. Even bigger was the internet bubble economy and billions of dollars of tax revenue associated with the exercise of stock options and a frothy IPO market. The timing of this bubble and its subsequent bursting had no correlation to who was sitting in the White House.

Anonymous said...

What Clinton and the Democratic Congress did was change the fiscal accounting rules to include Social Security as part of the General Fund, where it had previously been excluded. By including Social Security inflows from payroll taxes, the annual budget for that year showed a surplus. It was Grecian accounting, as has been done by both parties at different times. However, the road to fiscal hell was first paved by FDR and the New Deal. The socialist/Keynesian dice were thrown then, as people gave up their self-reliance for the warm embrace of socialism. Trump is just as bombastic and egotistical as FDR but with one difference, he's a capitalist. Crawford is either ignorant of history or solely focused on re-writing it.

Anonymous said...

As someone who generally likes reading Crawford's writing - disagreeing with him many times on many issues but appreciating his opining when he is wrong. (Over the past year, that has become quite regular following his infatuation along with the Hospital Association and their hatred for Reeves. During that period it got to be so overt and tired it wasn't interesting any more.)
But as to today's column, IMO this is absolutely your worst column in years. Wrong on both on philosophical and accuracy issues.

The budget deficits you attribute to "Trump's $2.3 trillion pandemic bailout bill" came how, Bill?

Before the bill was signed by Trump, what had the House passed and pushed?

How much was the Senate (R controlled) bill, Bill?

This was a 'conference committee agreement' wasn't it Bill? You remember those - you sat on plenty of Conference Committees in the MS Legislature before you left the legislature AND the Republican Party and endorsed Ray Mabus as the saviour for our state as best I remember.

Your guy Mabus - wasn't he the one that led us to the largest deficits in Mississippi's history?

But who the hell cares about MS history when you want to distort the national picture?

I guess its easy to change from supporting those budgets and the administration that gave them to us (when there wasn't any fiscal crisis or pandemnic) while trying to pitch this economic crisis on the President; all the time ignoring the partisan differences between the legislative branch of our national government.

Yes, our national budget deficit is astronomical - and it was done under a government headed by a progressive narcissist individual who ran (this time) as a Republican, a Republican led Senate and a Democratic led House.

But - somehow Bill - you have now declared this to be "Trump's" $2.3 trillion bailout bill. For a pandemic matter wherein the government required the economy to shut down.

Yes, I am against budget deficits - have been for decades as a lifelong conservative Republican. But I don't blame this budget deficit on the President (who I am not an adament fan of) but on the COVID-19 that we have inherited from our Chinese friends overseas.

Marco Rubio (as you quote) was accurate "these are not normal times". Just as they were not "normal times" in 2009 with Obama - but at least this time the 'bailout bill' was not wasted on hundreds of millions of dollars for b/s projects that never materialized.

The $1,200 per person at least didn't get handed out to politically favored corporate execs who's businesses never materialized.

I'm not a Tea Partier. I'm not a big time Trump fan. I'm certainly not a Sander's socialist or for that matter a 'mainstream' Democrat.

But if there ever was a reason for having budget deficits it should be for cases such as the current conditions. We lived through them in both the Great War and the War that followed the "war to end wars" - along with the Depression in between. (Problem is, we are still paying the price for the Depression era programs that were created for short term problems but are with us today almost a century later.)

I am a fiscal conservative Republican. Unlike Bill, I can tell the difference between those that want to compare the recent situation to 2009, or to 1933.

Bill, if you can't see the comparison (adjusted of course for inflation which FDR's programs created) to FDR's great depression actions - which were not directly caused by governent actions/restrictions, and today, you should peddling your writing as having value.

Anonymous said...

And where does The Fed's recent outpouring of liquidity and quantitative easing show up in the budget?

Just a guy said...

The Fed's actions will show up in inflation. Believe that.

Anonymous said...

"Government For the People" and "Government By the People" depends on the leadership of the party in charge who decides who are "The People". The problem is, the REAL leadership of both parties is the SAME.

In the long run it's all the same. Republicrat. All the same.

Anonymous said...

Breaking: Kingfish approves the longest comment in blog history @ 6:16. Never mind the fact it's composed of thirty two-sentence paragraphs that smack of a Millsaps degree.

Anonymous said...

Mabus has no deficits. Neither has any Mississippi Governor. The state constitution mandates a balanced budget. The Mabus administration did however manipulate the budget by putting some expenditures off until the next fiscal year, thinking Mabus would be re-elected and would deal with the matter later. Instead, Fordice had to face this during his first year in office; the Legislature responded with a tax increase which passed over the veto of Gov Fordice.

Anonymous said...

The Fed's actions will show up in inflation. Believe that.

Meanwhile the US Mint has shut down production of all coins both PM and copper-nickel. And private minting firms have a 4 week wait for silver and gold bullion.

Even normies and sheeple are beginning to convert some of their paper to coins. I know a guy going to every bank in town trying to convert his paper to the Sacagawea and Presidential 1 dollar coins.

Inflated Fed banknotes are going to collapse any day now. Take the time right now to convert them to anything of value. Be it land, ammo, or canned food.

Anonymous said...

Stop. If people start to lose faith in the dollar (again) then Uncle Sam will just confiscate your shiny metals (again) and force you to accept Federal Reserve notes. (Again)
Give it up.

Anonymous said...

I do see an inflationary wave hitting at some point. I do not see any value in trading in paper dollars for worthless nickel and zinc coins.

Anonymous said...

One thing to consider is that coins will not easily rot. You can recover coins from a housefire. You can bury them in a sack and dig them up 100 years later. Banknotes will rot, burn, and tear.

Anonymous said...

9:42, You can't burn coins to heat your home in a long winter after a collapse like you can worthless banknotes. Coins have a reassuring and stabilizing effect.

Anonymous said...

2:46 pm The President has veto power and his party controls the Senate.

If you haven't noticed that this President has near total control over the Senate and every Republican in the House and his veto can't be overridden, you really don't know enough about our system of government to form a political opinion about much of anything.

Anonymous said...

Y'all tell Argentina debt doesn't matter to a country, ya hear?

Anonymous said...

The Fed has poured liquidity and QE into the Wall St banks to exponentially inflate the markets in the face of overwhelming financial downturns to keep the 401k crowd happy while making the 0.01% astronomically wealthier. If/when the $trillions poured into the investment banks makes its way down to the working class "real" inflation might become overwhelming and at that point neither the Fed nor the administration will be able to control the situation for many months if not years it would seem. All ZEROs that the Fed added to bank balance sheets will show up somewhere when the Bloombergs and Mercers get all that they can count.

Yum Yum said...

@11:26 AM,
Soon they wont have to force us to eat bugs.

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