After completing his first year as the president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union Address this week. Many were surprised to find that one of his biggest talking points through both Barak Obama’s terms as well as the 2016 election, the debt of the United States, was missing from his speech entirely.
Prior to becoming president, Trump was outspoken about the how poorly he believed Democrats were handling the national deficit. Republicans are generally thought to be the party that is more conservative with funds and have long preached a need to find a way to shrink the growing national debt. After a full year in office, nothing has been done to start to shrink the national debt and President Trump avoided discussing the debt entirely through his near one and a half hour long speech. In fact, the only thing that even came near mentioning debt was when President Trump discussed the lack of investment in the United State’s infrastructure, at which point pushed lawmakers to pass a $1.5 trillion bill. He did not lay out plans to pay for it.
While it is true that Republicans often push for a better and more balanced budget, they often do not play that way when they are controlling everything. Most recently, under President George W. Bush, Republicans passed two different tax cuts, launched two expensive wars, and passed Medicare Part D which was a huge bust to the budget. This slipping attitude seems to ring true with their voters as well. At the height of the Tea Party movement in 2013, 81% of those publically polled thought cutting the deficit should be top priority, today that number has fallen to 59%.
While some have lost some of their interest in budget cutting, FreeddomWorks, a conservative think tank that is highly influential and pushes for tighter budgets as well as smaller government, had a lot to say about the State of the Union Address. They were pleased with many things that President Trump said, but they, in particular, were highly disappointed to not hear discussion of budget cuts. With the national debt over $20 trillion and expected to grow, FreedomWorks believes it is high time the country had a serious discussion about entitlement reform. They also feel that this is an area that President Trump could provide great leadership at as well as making progress. For the full rundown of the highlights of his speech and the lack of debt discussion, head to Huffington Post.