Port: Republicans would like you to believe they care about the national debt again


MINOT, N.D. — Back in 2011, when a Republican-controlled House refused to raise the debt ceiling to force significant spending concessions from then-President Barack Obama, I supported the move. The Republicans were still riding the wave of the Tea Party movement and it seemed, at the time, that true-blue fiscal conservatives such as Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina were finally serious about getting federal spending under control.

The chaos of a government shutdown seemed like a shock the system needed to get our financial house in order.

If only.

Flash forward to 2019, and Mulvaney had moved from Congress to the executive branch, serving as chief of staff in a Trump administration that had, at the time, presided over the addition of $4.7 trillion in national debt . Remember, that was before the pandemic era. By the time Donald Trump left office, we’d added about $8.2 trillion to our national debt, ballooning it by more than 40% .

Support for Trump has, ironically, become a litmus test for conservative purity among a certain faction of Republicans, yet the disgraced former president saw more added to our national debt in four years than Obama did in eight.