When folks as us about The Donald as president we have taken to saying that we hope the next seven years go as well as 2017. If asked we are quick to say that it is unlikely that The Donald will have a year as good as 2017 between now and 2024.
This week brought more of what we expected from The Donald. The NYT tells us he has continued to be an avid deregulator:
The Trump administration has adopted new limits on the use of “guidance documents” that federal agencies have issued on almost every conceivable subject, an action that could have sweeping implications for the government’s ability to sue companies accused of violations.
Powerline might be a little enthusiasic when it describes it as fantastic news but The Donald continues to be a great improvement over his immediate predecessor (HIP) or the alternative in 2016.
We knew when we elected him that he was not interested in reforming entitlements or reducing the deficit. The Donald shared that with HIP and the alternative so voters didn’t have a choice in that area. The did have a choice on regulation and taxation. Kevin Williamson at NRO takes many politicians to task:
Like so much else in Washington, [debt] is speeding out of control with no working brakes and no one apparently at the wheel. As Herb Stein famously put it, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”
James Freeman at the WSJ is worried about the Trump Spending Binge too and focuses on the government’s interest payments:
The Trump spending blowout is particularly dangerous because, as stock investors have noticed lately, interest rates are headed north. Washington will spend about $300 billion this year in net interest payments on the federal debt. Last summer the Congressional Budget Office estimated that this annual burden will grow to more than $800 billion by 2027, when it is expected to be more expensive than the entire Medicaid program by some $163 billion per year. This depressing scenario assumes the average annual interest rate paid by Washington rises to just 3.5% by then, still relatively modest by historical standards.
We agree with Kevin and James that we should be working on the deficit. We support entitlement reform and a tax on carbon to reduce the deficit. We wish it was now Mitt’s second term but it is not. It terms of the deficit, HIP was an awful choice and The Donald was better than either the 2016 alternative or HIP because he prioritized economic growth but none of them were good for the deficit.
It is going to be harder to fix the entitlements and the deficit later but there is so little interest in it. The politicians are not interested and only a few of the voters are. Lots of writers are but we must not be writing well enough. We would like to get more than we expected from The Donald but we can’t be displeased at actually getting what we expect.