This is not to say that this story begins with Trump. One could tell a similar tale about the George W. Bush and Obama eras. Indeed, that’s the point. The partisan need for wins at any cost, as fast as possible — fueled by a fear that they only have so much time before voters punish them for overreaching by electing another set of partisans who will then overreach — has created bipartisan dysfunction. Complaints about debt and spending lose credibility when politicians spout them only when it’s the other party doing the borrowing and spending.
And voters have noticed. The Biden administration likes to point out that while the bill passed along partisan lines in Congress, it enjoys bipartisan support with the public. And why shouldn’t it?
If you spend decades flip-flopping on debt and spending, depending on whether or not you’re in power, you shouldn’t be shocked if the voters say, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. Send me my money.”