Reducing deficits from the $10 trillion projection should have been easy. During Trump’s presidency, faster-than-expected economic growth raised the ten-year revenue projections by $1.3 trillion, and lower-than-expected interest rates shaved the ten-year interest cost projections by $2.6 trillion. That’s $3.9 trillion in automatic budget savings without lifting a finger.
Instead of building on those savings, the president helped enact $7.8 trillion in new initiatives, flipping his total fiscal imprint to a $3.9 trillion net cost. The largest drivers were pandemic-relief legislation ($3.9 trillion), the 2017 tax cuts ($2 trillion), and legislation raising the discretionary spending caps ($1.6 trillion). Other costs included disaster aid and other discretionary spending ($493 billion), repeal of several Affordable Care Act-related taxes ($299 billion), and hundreds of small policies ($201 billion)…
Using the same methodology, former President Barack Obama added $5 trillion in legislative costs over a decade, while former President George W. Bush added $6.9 trillion. Not only did Trump sign more ten-year debt into law than his immediate predecessors, he also did it in just a single four-year presidential term, compared to his predecessors’ eight years in the Oval Office.
Congressional Democrats have understandably decried the Trump deficits, yet they share much of the responsibility.