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When did US debt stop mattering?

From a Tribune Media column by Cal Thomas:

If the only motivation for Republicans is the next election, and the one after that, ad infinitum, why have any Republicans in Congress at all? Why have a Republican Party, which once was supposedly the party of small government, low taxes and individual responsibility? Now it seems the GOP has joined the other side and has become part of the problem. …

The bipartisan Balanced Budget Act of 1997 would have balanced the budget by 2002. Unfortunately, the law had a short lifespan. …

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump rightly criticized President Obama for “…almost doubl(ing) our national debt to more than $19 trillion, and growing. And yet, what do we have to show for it? Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World condition, and 43 million Americans are on food stamps.”

Even some Democrats get it right sometimes. … Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA.) has said, “Obviously, there has to be a profound change in direction. Otherwise, interest on the national debt will start eating up virtually every penny that we have.”

Well, maybe not obviously to many Republicans.

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