Republicans sweating Trump’s big spending ways

This is just going to work out so well for Mr. Ryan.

This is just going to be four long years of Republicans learning about what they should be wishing for.

President Donald Trump wants to rebuild the nation’s roads and bridges, boost military spending, slash taxes and build a “great wall.” But Republicans on Capitol Hill have one question for him: How the heck will we pay for all of this?

GOP lawmakers are fretting that Trump’s spending requests, due out in a month or so, will blow a gaping hole in the federal budget—ballooning the debt and undermining the party’s doctrine of fiscal discipline.

Trump has signaled he’s serious about a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, as he promised on the campaign trail. He also wants Republicans to approve extra spending this spring to build a wall along the U.S. southern border and beef up the military—the combined price tag of which could reach $50 billion, insiders say. And that’s to say nothing of tax cuts, which the president’s team has suggested need not necessarily be paid for.

Easy, say the likes of Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and House Speaker Paul Ryan: take it out of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. “Trump, meanwhile, has made clear he has little interest in tackling the biggest drivers of the national debt: entitlements.” Trump, however, has also shown little interest in any policy that doesn’t involve white nationalism, so his disinterest isn’t necessarily reliable. A massive national backlash against cuts to social insurance programs is. The calls they got for the DeVos nomination are just a warm-up to what would happen as soon as Social Security goes on the chopping block.

So you know what happens next, right? 

“If there is a temporary increase in the deficit to get our economy growing, I think my fellow Republican members are willing to look at the long game,” said Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), a Trump loyalist. “A growing economy and growing our way to success and financial stability is what we want to see.”

It has never been about deficits.

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