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LETTER: GOP needs to get tough on spending when a Republican is in the White House

In response to Victor Joecks’s Jan. 18 commentary claiming the GOP is showing real leadership by risking their careers and their party’s grip on power to hold America’s financial stability hostage to push a policy change the country needs: If his claim is even remotely correct, he would have to explain why, during Donald Trump’s four years, this same political party never put any demands on him to raise the debt ceiling.

From 2016, before the pandemic, Mr. Trump added $4.7 trillion to the debt. This debt included new spending and a massive corporate tax cut — a corporate tax cut the Republicans knew would have to be replaced by borrowing. They also increased more than $2 trillion in unfunded spending. And yet, this political party put no restrictions on raising the debt ceiling when Mr. Trump was in office.

Mr. Joecks would also have to explain why deficit-minded Republicans never materialize when a Republican president is in the White House. But with a Democratic president in office, they are willing to hold American’s financial stability hostage, cause unnecessary calamity and provoke a needless crisis.

Both parties’ would need to sit down and structure some tough choices to ensure that Social Security and Medicare remain solvent. The debt ceiling does nothing to restrict spending. Holding the nation’s financial stability hostage only when a Democrat is president to force budget demands is not leadership, it’s showmanship.

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