Fiscal conservatives and Democrats alike are ridiculing Republican congressional members and President Donald Trump after federal spending hit a $3.7 trillion record and the budget deficit climbed to $867 billion so far this fiscal year.
The massive 27 percent deficit increase from last year is only expected to worsen as Trump's $1.5 trillion tax plan from a year-and-a-half ago fails to "pay for itself" as the White House previously claimed. Congress also passed another over-budget spending bill earlier this month. The Treasury Department report predicted on Monday a $1 trillion deficit in two months at the end of the fiscal year and analysts noted it's the most money the federal government has spent in the first 10 months of a fiscal year since 2009 efforts to pull out of the Great Recession.
"In case there were any remaining doubts about whether Trump's tax cut would pay for itself, it hasn't," Chris Lu, a previous White House cabinet secretary and deputy secretary of Labor under former President Barack Obama, said on Tuesday.
Fiscal critics blasted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 which was passed by a Republican majority in both chambers of Congress before being signed into law by Trump that December. This week, both Democrats and Republicans criticized the budget passed August 1 which suspended the debt ceiling until the end of July 2021 and put spending levels about $320 billion above limits set by a 2011 law. Trump championed the budget deal as a "great victory" for the U.S. military and veterans as the Defense Department was allotted record amounts of taxpayer money.
Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul said earlier this month the budget deal marked the "death of the Tea Party movement" among fiscal conservatives. Twenty-three Republicans joined five Democrats to oppose the budget deal.
"Great work by Mitch McConnell in deepening our budget deficit. I guess it was worth it to give his rich friends and donors a tax break," said Amy McGrath, the Kentucky Democratic challenger to the current Republican Senate Majority Leader.
"Revenue up 3 percent, spending up 8 percent equals [a] deficit of $897 billion in 10 months. DC doesn't care," remarked former GOP Florida Governor Jeb Bush Tuesday. He also commended Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey for balancing the state's budget, "Great work Governor Ducey. Is Washington watching?"
However, Bush's brother, former Republican President George W. Bush, oversaw a $1.4 trillion deficit, a stock market crash and more than 800,000 jobs lost in a single month as he handed over the office to Obama in 2009.
"The part of DC with all the power at the time wanted its taxes cut and insisted this wouldn't happen," CNBC economy analyst John Harwood replied to Bush via Twitter Tuesday.
Harwood went on to label Bush's "DC doesn't care" comment inaccurate and an "evasion of accountability" given the numerous debates and deals cut between congressional Republicans, Democrats and Trump Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
"Maybe electing the guy with all the bankruptcies and debt was a bad idea?" quipped writer Molly Jong-Fast.
"It seems after Obama, the elected conservatives have conveniently dropped 'fiscal' from their descriptions. I can ignore the false talking points but I think neither side brings this up because the spending means votes until the dollar becomes worthless," replied a pro-Trump Twitter critic.
Many top Republicans and fiscal hawks remained silent or offered deflections after the Monday Treasury report was released, prompting mockery from several conservative-leaning social media users. "Let's go to Capitol Hill to get a response from budget hawk Republicans," replied one critic, displaying a picture of crickets.