Trump promised to eliminate the deficit — then it shot up to $1 trillion


Much of the deficit has been fueled by Trump's massive tax cuts for the rich.

Donald Trump ran for president in 2016 on the wildly optimistic promise that he would not only eliminate the annual budget deficit, but would also pay off the entire national debt.

Instead, he has increased both significantly.

The New York Times reported on Monday that the federal deficit exceeded $1 trillion in 2019, even as the nation experienced what Trump has called the "Greatest Economy in American History." Citing data from the Treasury Department, the outlet noted the deficit grew 17% from 2018 to 2019 and was the highest since 2012.

The national debt is now more than $23 trillion, the highest in the nation's history.

As a candidate, Trump promised to balance the budget "quickly" and bragged that he would eliminate the entire national debt during his time in office. Several months after his inauguration he made the totally false claim that a $5.2 trillion increase in the stock market was "in a sense" reducing the national debt.

But Trump has made the budget less balanced, not more. He sharply reduced revenue by pushing through a massive tax cut in 2017 that mostly benefited big corporations and wealthy people like himself.

He also signed several appropriations bills that increased spending — paying for controversial priorities like a national space force and border wall. After saying in 2018 that he would never sign another spending bill like the $1.3 trillion omnibus passed by Congress, last month, he signed a $1.4 trillion spending package.

In 2011, Trump slammed President Barack Obama for growth in the national debt. "With a record deficit and $15 trillion in debt," he said, Obama was "spending $4 million of our money on his Hawaii vacation. Just plain wrong."

Trump has spent an estimated $115 million in taxpayer money on his golf trips.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.