Donald Trump massively spent while in office, which could hurt the country: Donald J. Trump went through most of his professional life proudly being known as the “King of Debt.” He built his business empire on massive debt loads. Trump’s debt load was so big that when his businesses started going belly-up in the late 1980s/early 1990s, the banks couldn’t get their money back because Trump could take the banks down with him.
So, the banks gave Trump even more money. Donald Trump’s mindset is one of spending money as if there were no consequences on the principle that such spending will inevitably yield a profit of some kind.
In some cases, Trump was right. In others, such as his ill-fated casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey or his Trump Airlines, Trump simply hemorrhaged money.
Trump is a spender, both in business and in his private life.
Donald Trump Became an Odd Choice for a Leader of the Tea Party Conservatives
When Trump ran for office in 2016, he did so at a time when the country was in a growing debt crisis. The Tea Party, which inevitably backed Trump’s candidacy and his presidency, was birthed in opposition to the Democratic Party’s preferred policies of taxing and spending their way out of America’s financial woes.
While Trump made many good points on the campaign trail in 2016 about President Barack Obama’s profligate spending patterns, the fact was that Trump was going to spend as exorbitantly once in power as his Democratic Party predecessor had.
In fact, the forty-fifth president exploded America’s already gigantic debt. Most of that debt was incurred during the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when everyone agreed that injudicious government action was needed to keep people afloat during the forced lockdowns and subsequent economic collapse.
Trump’s Spending: Out-of-Control
Trump spent almost $8 trillion during his four years in office. Moreover, his Federal Reserve printed almost $3 trillion in new money in just a few months’ time during the heady days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020!
Once Joe Biden succeeded Trump as president, he immediately went about expanding upon Donald Trump’s reckless spending programs—all while castigating Trump as a white (orange?) nationalist.
In 2022, Biden spent an astonishing $4.8 trillion that the United States did not have. During that time, the Federal Reserve continued its mad printing of money that it had been doing under Trump.
As a result, inflation has reached historic highs. That inflation is serving as a net drag on the economy and disproportionately harming America’s middle-class. As a result of the exploding inflation levels in our country, the Fed responded by jacking up interest rates to stratospheric levels.
Again, those most harmed by these policies was the already ailing American middle-class.
The cause of this was excessive government spending. Absolutely no amount of interest rate hike will address the underlying problem that Washington’s leaders—both parties—have a dangerous self-destructive streak in the form of wanton federal spending.
Set aside the COVID-19 pandemic which was truly extraordinary in its scope and threat level to our national health and economy. Even before the pandemic sullied our great land with its unwanted presence, federal spending was out of control.
Blowing our Budget: from Bush to Biden
When Trump took power from Obama in January 2017, the forty-fourth president had been the subject of ceaseless attacks from his Republican rivals throughout his eight years in office because his spending was so extreme.
During Obama’s time, he basically doubled the national debt. His predecessor, George W. Bush had taken the historic surplus that Democratic Party President Bill Clinton had left for Bush and turned it into a massive debt that has been growing like a wildfire since Bush was president.
If spending was the source of America’s real financial woes, the last thing that was needed was more spending. But Donald Trump was the King of Debt. So, Trump entered office promising not to make cuts but to manage everything better than it had been. He promised sweeping new spending programs—and did, in fact, deliver on his promise to spend more money while cutting taxes.
The recent debt ceiling fight that was narrowly avoided earlier this summer is another indicator of just how out of control Washington’s spending habits are.
Had the debt ceiling not been raised (because Washington just can’t stop spending tax dollars printing money), the country would have defaulted on its onerous debt, which would have collapsed the entire economy and likely triggered far scarier outcomes in our political and social scenes.
Donald Trump is a Big Spender
We are just one debt ceiling fight away from that nightmare becoming a reality.
It’s true that the Democrats are pernicious spenders. But the Republicans certainly aren’t much better. What’s needed is a true break from the past and the election of a candidate who can rein in the spending. On this specific issue, that’s not Donald Trump.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
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