Trump has run up a huge $3.1 trillion deficit (that’s in one year, on top of about £6.5 trillion since the start of his presidency) and you can be guaranteed a few weeks into the next democratic presidency the republicans will develop a goldfish like memory and forget that it was Trump who ran up this deficit and start blaming
Mr Vanilla Biden for it.
Now normally I’d say, the democrats should be the grown ups and fix the problem. But we have now seen 4 republican presidents in a row run up a huge deficit and start a recession. They then leave office and expect the democrats to pick up the pieces, making the unpopular decisions to set things right again (allowing the GOP to hurl rocks from the sidelines, win mid-term elections and cripple the administration). Its like having a messy flatmate who never cleans up and then constantly complains to you about how dirty the flat is while you are in the process of doing the dishes.
So instead, I’d say “fu*k that”. If I were
Mr Vanilla Biden, I’d calmly remind the republicans of the graph above (how red states spend the govmint’s money raised for them of the back of blue states while, while with no hint of irony, they complain about big govmint) and ask them to point out which republican cash cow they’d like to sacrifice, or which red state they’d like to see bankrupted or maybe give us a heads up on how much their billionaire donors are willing to pay in taxes.
Beyond pushing up taxes for the wealthy (basically reversing Trump’s tax cuts), I’d engage in a bit of Keynesian spending to get the country through the recession and ignore the deficit for the time being (if the money markets were ever going to pull the plug on lending to the US government, they’d have done so under Trump, their bluff has essentially been called).
Even if the GOP regain control of congress, well the same way Trump used presidential emergency orders to fund his border wall,
Mr Vanilla Biden can declare a national emergency and provides covid relief and full healthcare coverage for everybody. Or write off all student debts. Or maybe even just use a presidential order to do some sort of populist cash handout right before an election.
While this might seem reckless, the reality is that deficits are less of a problem for democrats because future democrat administrations are prepared to raise taxes and make meaningful spending cuts (in areas that will actually make a difference, such as defence spending, corporate subsidies and govmint pork), while republicans will talk the talk, but never do anything.
Remember all those big spending cuts Trump, like Bush before him promised? whole departments gone, instead he spent like a sailor on shore leave! The truth is that, beyond some cosmetic and ideologically driven cuts to screw the poor and minorities (which usually results in more welfare claims, healthcare cost or crime so usually ends up costing the government money rather than saving it), republicans do not cut spending, they are the party of debt and deficits. They are just very good at lying and claiming it is the other way around.
Indeed if they kick up enough stink, I’d stick it to them. Ring fence certain spending to prevent it from being cut and then impose budget limits on borrowing (which is not unusual, many countries have such measures in place to stop some crazy person doing something stupid). This would mean it will be a legal requirement that things like welfare or Obamacare payments are met, and illegal to run massive deficits paying for government pork (some countries have budget rules which will automatically trigger tax increases in such a scenario).
This will basically neuter any future GOP president from day one. He/she will be faced with the stark choice on the first day in the white house. 1) Break every campaign promise that involves spending money (war with China, an alligator moat with Mexico, summon Gozer the Gozerian). 2) raise taxes…which didn’t work out too well for G. Bush senior! Or 3) Make meaningful tax cuts that will harm the republican base and piss off GOP donors.
In short, every future republican president will be rendered a lame duck and the damage they can do will be limited, even when the democrats are no longer in control.