Con­ser­va­tives lash out at GOP spend­ing binge

Manteca Bulletin - - Local/ Nation -

NEW YORK (AP) — The GOP is the party of fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity no more.

That’s ac­cord­ing to some con­ser­va­tives who are grap­pling with a Repub­li­can­backed spend­ing binge that threat­ens to gen­er­ate tril­lion­dol­lar deficits for years to come while stain­ing a cher­ished pil­lar of the modern-day Repub­li­can Party.

While Trump and most of his clos­est al­lies largely avoided the sub­ject, fis­cal con­ser­va­tives lashed out against Mon­day’s re­lease of Pres­i­dent Trump’s $4 tril­lion­plus bud­get, which would cre­ate $7.2 tril­lion in red ink over the next decade if adopted by Congress. That fol­lows con­gres­sional pas­sage of last week’s $400 bil­lion spend­ing pact, along with mas­sive tax cuts, which some an­a­lysts pre­dict will push deficits to lev­els not seen in gen­er­a­tions.

Deficit hawks in Congress and con­ser­va­tive ac­tivists who railed against Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s spend­ing plans called the GOP debt ex­plo­sion “dan­ger­ous,” ‘’im­moral” and “a be­trayal.” Trump’s own bud­get di­rec­tor, for­mer South Carolina Rep. Mick Mul­vaney, told law­mak­ers Tues­day that he prob­a­bly would have voted against the spend­ing plan if he were still in Congress.

Amer­i­can Con­ser­va­tive Union chair­man Matt Sch­lapp warned the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Congress not to un­der­es­ti­mate the po­lit­i­cal im­pact of its spend­ing de­ci­sions.

“If the Repub­li­cans in Congress don’t re­al­ize that spend­ing con­trol is one of the most im­por­tant is­sues that our win­ning coali­tion cares about, if they are cav­a­lier about spend­ing de­ci­sions, I think we do risk our abil­ity to go to the vot­ers and say it mat­ters to have us in the ma­jor­ity,” Sch­lapp said. He added, “I would urge the White House to be will­ing to move con­gres­sional lead­ers to take tougher stands when it comes to spend­ing.”

The con­ser­va­tive back­lash against gov­ern­ment spend­ing is hardly new.

Many still com­plain about the spend­ing boom un­der Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush that wiped out sur­pluses left by Demo­cratic Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton and helped pro­duce big gains for Democrats in the 2008 elec­tion. The con­ser­va­tive tea party move­ment was borne in the sub­se­quent years by the out­rage over Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s spend­ing de­ci­sions.

But barely a year into his first term, Trump’s GOP has shown in­con­sis­tent com­mit­ment at best to the three planks that have de­fined his party since the Rea­gan era: fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity, tra­di­tional fam­ily val­ues and a strong na­tional de­fense.

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