On Friday’s broadcast of his show on HBO, “Real Time” with Bill Maher, host Bill Maher said that he understands where Republicans are coming from when they demand that “an adult” step in and “cut up the credit card” of the government, particularly after the massive Covid-era spending was stolen.
Commenting on that, Maher said that the GOP argument that an increase in the debt ceiling needs to be tied to spending cuts is “Republicans’ way of saying, Democrats spend too much money, of course, only when they’re not president. When a Republican is president, it’s never a problem, the debt ceiling and then spending money is never a problem.”
Such was a frequent critique of the Trump Administration, which spent tremendously large amounts of money and came nowhere close to balancing the budget despite years of GOP complaints about Obama spending too much money.
Maher then went on to add that both Republicans and Democrats are at fault for the massive spending problem and burgeoning debt crisis, but that the Republicans are the party that “pretends to be the fiscal responsibility party, that’s the thing.”
Continuing on with that point, he then noted that the Democrats don’t even pretend to care about reducing spending or fiscal responsibility anymore, saying “It is the Democrats who are the spenders, I mean, they spent — I mean, Trump…it was bipartisan…COVID cost 6 trillion, 2 million more than World War II, for the forever flu.”
He then got to his main point, which is that he understands where Republicans are coming from when they demand that someone cut up the credit card so that the government can’t keep spending like a teenager, particularly after much of all those trillions in Covid spending “was stolen” when the government just started mailing “checks willy-nilly.” In his words:
“Not that much, and half of it was stolen. Half of it was just stolen. They just sent out checks willy-nilly. So, I understand the Republican idea that we have to say, well, these people are spending like drunken sailors and an adult has to cut up the credit card.”
He wasn’t done there, however. Though Maher said he understood where Republicans are coming from, he said that he doesn’t think Republicans will do “the adult part” on spending.
And that’s pretty much what Rep. Dan Crenshaw exposed during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Your World,” saying:
“[W]e just took over the House, so we’re going to create our budget and we’re going to have a starting point that…is going to be more cuts and more spending limitations than the White House would like. And, well, that’s too bad. What’s the White House’s choice? What, are they going to default on the debt? I don’t think they want to do that.”
Letting what’s really going to happen slip, Crenshaw then said “Look, we’re going to have to come to the table here.”
But, though it looks like the GOP is going to back down on the fiscal issue once again, Crenshaw at least suggested that some spending cuts might come from the battle, saying that spending has advanced hugely in recent years and implying that it could be cut, saying:
“And look, people talk about how draconian some of these ideas are, but it’s worth noting that discretionary spending has been increasing over the last few years at double the rate of inflation, and that’s not even counting other bills like the IRA and American Rescue Plan, which was almost $2 trillion, the infrastructure plan which was over a trillion dollars, the CHIPS bill, which was hundreds of billions of dollars. It’s not even counting that. A lot of this money has flooded through these government agencies. They’ve got a lot of money.”
So maybe Republicans will be something approaching adults and limit the credit card spending somewhat. Or maybe they’ll just let it continue.
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