Why is that the doings of our highest levels of government seem to borrow tips and tricks typically employed by celebrity publicists? You know, when those A-listers drop their divorce statements the instant something huge enters the zeitgeist… in order to minimize coverage? Is this just the way a country operates when a reality star becomes her president?
This week, while we were all slack-jawed and watching the 3 ring circus that was The Saga of the Nunes Memo, the Treasury Department announced that the federal government is on track to borrow nearly a trillion dollars this fiscal year. That’s right — a trillion. Or, as Trump says, a treeyun.
For those keeping track of this sort of thing, that’s just about double what the government borrowed during the fiscal year of 2017. It breaks down as follows: The treasury anticipates they will borrow $955 billion this fiscal year. That’s an enormous jump from $519 borrowed in the last fiscal year. Actually, it is the highest amount the U.S. Treasury has borrowed in six years.
Relatedly, the Congressional Budget Office reported this week that tax receipts will be lower this year because of Trump’s tax tinkering. What a coincidence!
A former senior adviser to the U.S. Treasury, Ernie Tedeschi, notes that this is the first time borrowing has jumped this much (as a share of GDP) in a non-recession era since Ronald Reagan was president. Regan-era, borrowing spiked because of a “buildup of the military”, which is something Trump is advocating.
Some economists are now predicting a 2019 recession as a result. Tedeschi says the borrowing is “concerning, but not a crisis.” He then added that it is a “big risk” to plan on borrowing so much in the coming years.
Call me a cynic but I’m starting to think that actors and reality stars don’t make mind-blowingly awesome presidents. In Trump’s defense, I’m pretty sure he thinks the entire country can file bankruptcy while keeping all of our gold-leafed objets d’art.