When President Obama nearly doubled the national debt, raising it by almost $9 trillion during his two terms in office, Republicans howled in alarm. Although interest rates were being kept artificially low by the U.S. Federal Reserve and global central banks in the aftermath of the Great Recession, there certainly would be a reckoning down the road when the bill came due.
So incensed were Americans by the profligate borrowing by the federal government that it caused a political revolt in the form of the Tea Party, whose politicians took Congress by storm and demanded accountability for the fiscal irresponsibility in which our country had engaged. Tea Party-affiliated politicians urged congressional Republicans to be willing to shut down the government to force congressional Democrats and President Obama to agree to deep cuts in spending and to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
One of the central tenets of the Republican Party has been a commitment to fiscal conservatism, which consists of three central prongs: low taxes, low debt and small government. America’s burgeoning national debt, sprawling government bureaucracy and incredible burden of liabilities — that is, promises to pay in the future — seem to belie this set of ethics.
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