While there are powerful conservative organizations that promote cutting taxes and general fiscal responsibility, no major lobbyists or interest groups dole out support solely to cut spending. Meanwhile, in our action-oriented culture, politicians gain support by putting points on the board—not for taking them off. There are incentives for creating a new program or passing a new bill, not for rolling back spending.
And if the media and the public clamor for the passage of legislation, then how might a Republican president corral enough Democratic votes to make that happen? You guessed it: by increasing spending. Amid criticism from the right over his spending bill, Donald Trump tweeted: “The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!”
The only way for a Republican president to implement the rest of his agenda—to pass otherwise good policies and to keep the government functioning—is to trade them for pork-barrel appropriations and pet projects.