On Friday, “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace appeared on the network’s “Shepard Smith Reporting” to discuss the latest economic news and jobs numbers.
Wallace first noted that the employment report, which stated that the United States added just 130,000 jobs in August (about 30,000 fewer than what was reportedly predicted), as well as a pull-back in consumer confidence, “some indications of contraction in the manufacturing sector,” and other factors “indicate growing uncertainty about the strength of the economy.”
Host Shepard Smith then asked Wallace about Republicans, conservatives, and the deficit.
SMITH: There was a time really not that long ago, Chris, when conservatives were always very concerned about deficits and deficit spending. Do you have a sense beyond presidential politics why we’re not really hearing that from conservatives as much right now, because the deficit is quite large?
WALLACE: Yeah, the deficit is going to be up to close to a trillion dollars this year, and the projection is it’s going to be over a trillion dollars for the rest of the the 2020s, for a decade, and our debt is up over $22 trillion. This has really been going on for some time. I mean, you go back to George W. Bush, and he was a big spender, a big-government Republican, and you see that now with Donald Trump. The economic benefits of the [tax] cut in 2017 have begun to diminish, and what you’re now … paying the price of the fact that there’s not as much revenue coming in. And in addition, there is a big increase in spending. They just passed a spending bill to get them past the 2020 election, and they’ve basically done away with sequestration, with all those spending caps. So, there’s a kind of an unholy conspiracy, if you will, by Democrats, who have been big spenders for a while, and now Republicans, that deficits and debt don’t really matter.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 passed the House 284 – 149 in late-July, passed the Senate 67 – 28 on August 1, and was signed into law by President Trump on August 2. According to the summary, the legislation “increases discretionary spending limits, suspends the debt limit, and modifies budget enforcement procedures.”
During President Trump’s first two years in office, while the Republican Party controlled the House and Senate, the deficit grew, according to The Balance:
.2016: $585 billion
.2017: $665 billion
.2018 (estimated): $779 billion
In 2018, the Democratic Party took control of the House, and the estimated deficits for 2019, 2020, and 2021 look increasingly grim:
.2019: $1.09 trillion
.2020: $1.1 trillion
.2021: $1.06 trillion
When Obama took office in 2009, the national debt was approximately $11 trillion. During his eight years in office, the debt grew by roughly $7.6 trillion to approximately $19.5 trillion. That’s an increase of around 77.2%.
Over the course of Trump’s presidency, the debt has gone from $19.5 trillion to approximately $22 trillion and counting. The Balance estimates that by 2020, the national debt will stand at around $24 trillion. If the estimate holds true, that would mean that during Trump’s first term as president, the debt will have grown by a little over 23%.