clear
Tuesday July 17th, 2018 5:03PM

Conservatives lash out at GOP spending binge

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

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

That's according to some conservatives who are grappling with a Republican-backed spending binge that threatens to generate trillion-dollar 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 trillion-plus 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. Beyond fiscal responsibility, the party's commitment to family values is also suffering as Trump and some high-profile allies struggle under the weight of repeated allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse.

Economic conservatism has long helped unify an otherwise divided GOP, but that no longer appears to be the case as Republicans brace for a difficult midterm election season.

Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the network backed by the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, described the recent spending from Trump and Congress "a far cry from the so-called fiscal responsibility Americans heard on the campaign trail."

Voters may forgive Trump's spending habits because he's still learning the ways of Washington, but they will not be as kind to Republicans on the midterm ballots, said David McIntosh, president of the conservative Club for Growth, who lashed out at last week's Republican-backed spending plan as "of the swamp, by the swamp and for the swamp."

"They're not going to give a pass to the Republicans in Congress unless they start doing something to restrain the growth of government," he said.

"You can't let (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell and the spenders in the Senate set the agenda this year," McIntosh continued. "Because politically, if they set the agenda, then you're going to see big losses in the House and the Senate."

All told, Trump's budget plan sees accumulating deficits of $7.2 trillion over the coming decade. And that's assuming Trump's rosy economic predictions come true and Congress follows through — in an election year — with politically toxic cuts to social programs, farm subsidies and Medicare providers.

The budget includes $1.6 billion for the second stage of Trump's proposed border wall, a 65-mile segment in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. There's no mention of how Mexico would have to pay for it, as Trump repeatedly promised during the presidential campaign and after his victory.

The president's spending outline for the first time acknowledges that the Republican tax overhaul passed last year would add billions to the deficit and not "pay for itself" as Trump and his Republican allies asserted. If enacted as proposed — though no presidential budget ever is — the plan would establish an era of $1 trillion-plus yearly deficits.

Trump's spending plan is like "throwing gasoline on a house that's already on fire," said David Biddulph, co-founder of a national organization fighting for a balanced budget amendment. "I think it's awful what we're doing to our grandkids."

A self-described fiscal conservative, he blamed the political system more than the Republican Party for the latest spending binge. Yet he encouraged Trump to do more to cut spending on Medicare and Social Security, which he left largely untouched in his budget.

If not, Biddulph said, "I don't know that we'll ever dig our way out of this hole."

Conservative writer Quin Hillyer, a frequent Trump critic, was more willing to condemn Trump's GOP.

"Their spending behavior is abominable and mind-bogglingly irresponsible," he said. "I have no idea what the Republican Party stands for anymore."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, AP Business, AP Elections - Campaigns, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Conservatives lash out at GOP spending binge
Trump budget fallout: Conservatives decry "irresponsible" spending binge
12:58AM ( 3 minutes ago )
Winners and losers under Medicare drug plan in Trump budget
Some Medicare beneficiaries face higher drug costs under Trump's budget even as the sickest patients save money
12:55AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Official's departure adds to strain of vacancies at Justice
The sudden departure of the Justice Department's No. 3 official is adding to the turmoil at an agency that already lacks permanent, politically appointed leaders for many of its most important divisions
12:53AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
14 worms pulled from woman's eye after rare infection
Doctors pull 14 worms from eye of Oregon woman in rare case of infection spread by flies
12:07AM ( 55 minutes ago )
Virtual field trips: Schools embrace advanced adventures
Virtual reality field trips? For schools, it's the next best thing to being there
12:06AM ( 55 minutes ago )
Judge to hear case of Powerball winner who wants anonymity
Lawyers for a New Hampshire woman who won a $559.7 million Powerball jackpot are appearing before a judge to request that she remain anonymous
12:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Slick show for border collie at Westminster
A border collie just finished off a Slick night at Westminster
11:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
Dog show's young handlers take a grown-up sport in stride
This week's Westminster Kennel Club competition is best known for the dog crowned best in show, but it's also a showcase for young handlers who sometimes go up against grown-ups
11:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
Snow Queen: Kim dominates to take gold in women's halfpipe
Chloe Kim's coronation is complete after American snowboarder dominates Olympic women's halfpipe
11:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
Top General short headlines
Cyclone destroys Parliament House, homes on Tonga, Fiji next
Tonga began cleaning up after a cyclone hit overnight, while some people in Fiji began preparing for the storm to hit them
11:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump budget would usher in new deficit era
President Donald Trump's new budget plan would order steep cuts to the nation's social safety net but push military spending much higher
8:11PM ( 4 hours ago )
California lawmakers boost dam checks after near disaster
California would beef up dam inspections under legislation sent to Gov. Jerry Brown a year after a near disaster prompted the evacuation of nearly 200,000 residents
7:15PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Former pharma exec, Christie backer seeks to oust Menendez
A former pharmaceutical company executive and supporter of Chris Christie's presidential campaign is entering this year's Senate race as a Republican against incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez. Bob Hugin announced his campaign on Monday in an email
5:36PM ( 7 hours ago )
Trump says 'OK with me' if plan to rebuild roads founders
Trump sends Congress a sweeping plan to rebuild the nation's roads, bridges, but says 'OK with me' if proposal founders due to lack of support
5:02PM ( 8 hours ago )
Trump says 'up to' Congress to act on plan to rebuild roads
President Donald Trump is sending Congress a sweeping plan to rebuild the nation's depleted infrastructure and putting the burden on lawmakers to address his long-awaited campaign promise
3:56PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Official: US believes ex-Venezuela oil czar took bribes
U.S. prosecutors believe Venezuela's former oil czar received bribes as part of a major graft scheme that allegedly took place in the OPEC nation's oil industry, says an American official familiar with the probe
12:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
Hospital OKs agreement with Ohio city's last abortion clinic
A hospital system has authorized a patient-transfer agreement to keep the last abortion clinic in one Ohio city operating
11:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
GM to close auto plant in South Korea in restructuring
General Motors to close factory in Gunsan, South Korea, in restructuring of its operations, plans further investments
11:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
AP Analysis: Trump's economic policy rooted in debt
One major principle is clear in President Donald Trump's emerging economic policy: Debt is good
5:08PM ( 7 hours ago )
Stocks power higher after a dreadful week; Dow jumps 410
Stocks jump again as the market claws back some of its massive losses last week, when it slumped into a 'correction' for the first time in two years. The Dow gained 410 points.
4:47PM ( 8 hours ago )
Markets Right Now: Stocks surge; Dow industrials gain 400
Dow industrials gain 400 points as stocks claw back some of their massive losses from last week.
4:09PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Winners and losers under Medicare drug plan in Trump budget
Some Medicare beneficiaries face higher drug costs under Trump's budget even as the sickest patients save money
12:55AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Official's departure adds to strain of vacancies at Justice
The sudden departure of the Justice Department's No. 3 official is adding to the turmoil at an agency that already lacks permanent, politically appointed leaders for many of its most important divisions
12:53AM ( 9 minutes ago )
South Africa's ruling party struggles with Zuma dilemma
Leaders of South Africa's ruling ANC party are struggling to remove President Jacob Zuma from office amid media reports that he asked for concessions in exchange for his resignation
12:50AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Democrats hold Minnesota Senate seat in high-stakes election
Minnesota Democrats have held on to a state Senate seat in a special election, preserving their hopes of retaking the chamber later this year
12:38AM ( 24 minutes ago )
The Latest: Zapolski to start in goal for US Olympic opener
Ryan Zapolski will start in goal for the U.S. men's hockey team in its opener against Slovenia
12:31AM ( 31 minutes ago )