Trump Continues to Say the Quiet Parts Out Loud

We’ll just file this under fiscal conservatism:

Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s aides and advisers have tried to convince him of the importance of tackling the national debt.

Sources close to the president say he has repeatedly shrugged it off, implying that he doesn’t have to worry about the money owed to America’s creditors—currently about $21 trillion—because he won’t be around to shoulder the blame when it becomes even more untenable.

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the national debt in the not-too-distant future. In response, Trump noted that the data suggested the debt would reach a critical mass only after his possible second term in office.

“Yeah, but I won’t be here,” the president bluntly said, according to a source who was in the room when Trump made this comment during discussions on the debt.

This is actually the honest position of most Republicans. They’ll pretend they care about the budget, but that’s just so they can rob the poors to give more tax cuts to their buddies. At least Trump is being honest about the smash and grab.

33 replies
  1. 1
    Kent says:

    The bond market is going to get his attention long before that. As Clinton famously said:

    “`You mean to tell me that the success of the economic program and my re-election hinges on the Federal Reserve and a bunch of fucking bond traders?” Clinton raged at aides, according to journalist Bob Woodward’s book, “The Agenda.”

  2. 2
    cain says:

    Yeah, well, that bond market fucks him over, and his properties, I”ll be more than happy, @kent.

  3. 3
    germy says:

    Mr. drumpf has never cared about debt.

  4. 4

    The phrase of the day is “death bet” as in
    ” I will be dead before the consequences of my choices hit”

    See carbon dioxide too

  5. 5
    Kent says:

    @cain: It could well happen to the extent that Trump holdings worldwide are leveraged with short-term loans that will come due and need to be refinanced in much higher interest rate environment. Payments on a $100 million loan at 6% are a whole different magnitude from payments on a $100 million loan at 3%. If the deficit sucks up all the available cash worldwide in the form of treasuries then interest rates are going way way up. Its the bond traders that will make that happen.

  6. 6
    Ian G. says:

    And climate change. Do Republicans not have children? Because literally every day I worry about the possible Mad Max world my daughter may have to raise children in.

  7. 7
    Yarrow says:

    @Ian G.: The rich ones think their money will insulate them and their kids and grandkids from the effects. If they think about it at all, that is. That’s what the New Zealand bunkers are all about.

  8. 8

    It is very frustrating from a politics standpoint. The Republicans basically run on :

    “We’ll cut your taxes and won’t in any way cut spending!”

    Which leaves the Democrats forced into the corner of :

    “Because we’re not lunatics, we’ll try and clean up the results of the GOP vandalism.”

  9. 9
    Dr. Ronnie James, D.O. says:

    ““I used to think that if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or as a .400 baseball hitter. But now I would like to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.”

    –James Carville

  10. 10
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Aussiesmurf: Which we have to do with the right, the media (but I repeat myself), and the far left howling the whole time. Blech.

  11. 11
    sm*t cl*de says:


    That’s what the New Zealand bunkers are all about.

    Here we call them “food caches”.

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    If the democrats can regain the senate, they can pass a bill that does not allow deductions for those earning over 1 million a year and very few deductions for those earning over 500,000. They don’t need to raise the rate. They could also do a flat tax with a flat fifty thousand dollar a year deductible for every working person.

  13. 13
    Another Scott says:


    The “debate” about the “National Debt” is almost always disingenuous.

    E.g. anytime Social Security has a surplus, it adds to the “National Debt”.

    Most of the “National Debt” is money we owe ourselves. Paying it back increases the income of Americans.

    What matters most is what we spend the money on.


  14. 14
    Schlemazel says:

    I’d need to see the numbers on a flat tax. It is always a popular idea because it sounds so simple & fair. Back in ’92 Forbes ran on a 19% rate with $25k exemption (that would be a net tax hike for middle class payers BTW) when it was score it turned out it only generated about 50%(IIRC) of then current revenue.

  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    @David Anderson:

    The phrase of the day is “death bet” as in
    ” I will be dead before the consequences of my choices hit”

    Trump and his entire family may wind up dead as a direct consequence of the choices they made.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    Here we call them “food caches”.

    How do you prepare a banker in New Zealand?

  17. 17
    gene108 says:

    @Another Scott:

    I will always be left to wonder where we would be if Al Gore got into the White House with his “lock box” for Social Security.

  18. 18
    Schlemazel says:

    He would have faced a GOPper House & Senate. One as intent on damaging him as the anti-Obama bastards were for BHO. believe we would be better off but too many even Dem COngressmen think of SS payments as free money

  19. 19
    Xavier Onassis says:

    Meh and then some. The debate about the National Debt is *always* disingenuous. A government that creates its own money and whose obligations are payable with the money it creates can always meet those obligations, whether they are purchases of goods and services, entitlements, or interest, now and forever. And there is no law or logic of economics or finance or accounting that says such a government must match its spending with taxes, over a fiscal period or a business cycle or ever.

    It’s true that if such a government spends too much and/or taxes too little, inflation will result. I’ll pay attention when that happens. In the meantime, a government that spends too little and/or taxes too much will see higher unemployment than it should. That’s almost always the case.

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    @Schlemazel: True.. Deductions are regressive in nature so a flat deduction would help lower and middle class more than itemized as long as it’s tied to the inflation rate. Of course, the republicans will find someone with seventeen children to complain about losing the child tax.
    You could even have three different tax rates .. I am not an economist and haven’t even slept in a Holiday Inn in decades.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @Xavier Onassis: Inflation is a curse for lower income folks and those on a fixed income.
    just sayin

  23. 23
    Brachiator says:


    If the democrats can regain the senate, they can pass a bill that does not allow deductions for those earning over 1 million a year and very few deductions for those earning over 500,000.

    This is not remotely revenue neutral.

    Also, the Democrats are going to have to overhaul the entire tax system, not simply tinker with individual rates and deductions.

  24. 24
    Jack the Second says:

    @gene108: That’s why once the time machine is finished, I want to stop in Florida in 2000 and interrupt the Brooks Brothers Riot on the way back from killing Hitler.

  25. 25
    Luthe says:

    So basically Trump is planning to stiff his creditors like he always has. Is anyone surprised?

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    @Brachiator: I just thing it’s easier to tinker with deductions especially for the top 1 percent.

  27. 27
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jack the Second:

    That’s why once the time machine is finished, I want to stop in Florida in 2000 and interrupt the Brooks Brothers Riot on the way back from killing Hitler.

    You’d have to make earlier stops to bump off Katherine Harris and Karl Rove.

  28. 28
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @JPL: for my nickel’s worth, I’ve long believed the change I’d make would actually be semantic.

    Not deductions. Cost of living expenses. And the FPL is an automatic minimum.

    Yes, I know FPL is bonkers even adjusted by state. But the thing is, I want to encourage a couple of things.

    First, the cost of surviving isn’t a happenstance. It’s the minimum, and everyone pretty much has to spend that much. Dipping into that is cutting into survival.

    Second, though, is more subtle. Economies are like bodies of water; they thrive when they move, and die if they stand still. In principle I don’t really even care if the really wealthy end up paying no income tax because of how much they spend on ‘expenses’. But if they pay no money to the government because they pushed 39% of their income above the FPL into living expenses, it means that money moved through other hands instead of stagnating while generating interest.

    Yep, many loopholes and opportunities for abuse, and I’ve actually crunched some of them and the counters. But since it’s a dream with no chance of implementation I see no sense bogging down a blog comment with all that.

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    @Kirk Spencer: that was good

  30. 30
    Schlemazel says:

    back to 1951 & get the evidence of Nixon taking a bribe and Ike’s love letters to his jeep driver. Drop Joe McCarthy out a window, drown Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, poison the Koch family Thanksgiving turkey. That would be a start

  31. 31
    Ken says:

    @TenguPhule: I’ve always been partial to meat pies.

  32. 32
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    It’s ironic that Trump, a pathological liar, is in many ways very honest about who he is. He hasn’t even tried to hide his many flaws over the past 3 years.

  33. 33
    Ken says:

    @Jonny Scrum-half: What Raymond Smullyan called an “insane knave” in his logic puzzles: A knave always lies, but because he’s insane he believes the opposite of the truth, so what he says is true.

    With Trump it’s a little different: His character is abhorrent, but because his morals are backward, he thinks he’s admirable and brags about himself, inadvertently admitting to his nastiness.

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