'Yeah, but I won't be here': Trump lays bare the GOP's hypocritical double standard around mounting federal debt

"It’s not like it’s going to haunt him.”

Republicans can be very inconsistent when it comes to the federal deficit, downplaying the importance of rising deficits under President George W. Bush or President Ronald Reagan but declaring that the federal deficit under President Barack Obama would surely be the United States’ downfall. This pattern has continued in the Trump era, with President Donald J. Trump showing little or no concern for how much the deficit will increase under his watch. And when the president was reminded how unwieldy the deficit could become in the future after he leaves office—whether that’s in early 2021 or early 2025—his flippant response was, “Yeah, but I won’t be here.”

Trump, according to the Daily Beast, made that comment in early 2017 during a discussion on how high the federal deficit would ultimately become. Rather than focus on tax hikes for the 1%—which he is vehemently opposed to—or spending cuts, Trump seemingly believes that growth alone can reduce the deficit. And even some conservatives are concerned over the indifference he has expressed where the United States’ growing debt is concerned.

 

In the Daily Beast, an anonymous Trump Administration senior official is quoted as saying that Trump “doesn’t really care” about the “crisis” of a huge deficit and chooses, instead, to focus on “jobs and growth, whatever that means.”

 

The Daily Beast also quotes a former Trump Administration official as saying that 

Trump “isn’t a doctrinaire conservative who deeply cares about the national debt, especially not on his watch” and that the deficit is “not actually a top priority for him.”

 

That anonymous Trump associate is also quoted as saying, “It’s not like it’s going to haunt him.” 

 

In other words, “Yeah, but I won’t be here.”

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Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist. His work has also appeared in Salon, Raw Story, Truthdig, National Memo, Philadelphia Weekly, Democratic Underground, L.A. Weekly, MintPress News and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter @alexvhenderson.