Where Are the Deficit Hawks?

Published Oct 18, 2018. By the Editorial Board.

The words “deficit” and “debt” disappeared from the Republican lexicon once Donald Trump became president. Members of what was once the party of fiscal responsibility passed the president’s tax-cut proposal, which will add $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. On Monday, the Treasury Department announced that the 2018 federal deficit climbed by 17 percent to $779 billion.

Most Republicans are singing the old Ronald Reagan refrain: tax cuts pay for themselves by boosting economic growth. It didn’t work then. It won’t work now. The debt will be passed on to children and grandchildren.

It wasn’t always so for Republicans. New Hampshire has produced some of the staunchest deficit hawks in Congress, starting with the late senator Warren Rudman, who joined with the late Massachusetts Democratic senator Paul Tsongas to create the deficit-fighting Concord Coalition.