One letter exposes Trump’s breathtaking hypocrisy on the debt limit

Now that Trump is president, the sky is the limit.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on the Federal budget, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on the Federal budget, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, has quietly requested Congress to “raise the federal debt limit at the first opportunity.” Notably, Mnuchin does not propose offsetting the debt limit increase with spending cuts or tax increases.

Mnuchin’s letter is effectively the opposite of the policy Trump pledged to pursue as president.

In 2011, Trump said that if he were president would “wouldn’t raise” the debt limit and instead “make a deal.” Trump promised to “stop [the debt] right now.”

In a tweet, Trump said that “there is no revenue problem” and that “the debt limit cannot be raised” until Congress cuts spending and balances the budget.

Obama’s call to increase the debt limit without draconian cuts to spending was “destroying our country,” Trump said.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump hewed to this view, saying that the debt limit must be used as a weapon to force spending cuts. Trump said he would be “very very strong on the debt limit” and insist on “a very big pound of flesh” before agreeing to any increase.

Now that Trump is president, his approach is the complete opposite. Via Mnuchin, Trump is asking Congress to raise the debt limit without demanding any spending cuts in return.

Instead he is seeking to enact a new health care plan (with no funding mechanism), a massive military spending increase and, in the near future, a massive tax cut for corporations and the wealthy.

Asked about the request to raise the debt ceiling on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the issue was “beyond our control.”