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Thune Admits Trumponomics Fails to Fix National Debt

In 2016, Senator John Thune campaigned for reëlection with this formula for reducing the national debt:

“The purpose of tax reform ought to be economic growth,” Thune says. “What solves all of these problems we’re talking about… you want to see deficits get smaller… you want to be able to pay down debt? Get the economy growing at a more traditional three to three and a half percent rate, instead of the one percent rate that we’ve seen this year, and the one to two percent rate we’ve seen for the balance of the Obama administration. That’s what will help get us back on a more secure fiscal track. Reduced and restrained spending and economic growth” [Lee Strubinger, “Thune and Williams Face Off in SDPB Television Forum,” SDPB, 2016.10.13].

In 2020, Senator Thune sounds like the last three years of Republican fiscal and moral failure haven’t happened, that it’s not his fault, and that someone somewhere still needs to do something about the national debt:

Senator John Thune says this can keeps getting kicked down the road by administrations in both political parties, and that it needs to be dealt with by the presidential administration, regardless of who wins the upcoming election.

Thune says the last few administrations of both parties have all talked about the deficit but not done anything to tackle it. Thune fears that we may wait until there is a financial crisis to deal with the deficit, and he says that at that point, it will be too late [Colin Strombeck, “Thune Says Federal Deficit Must Be Dealt with Soon,” KELO Radio, 2020.02.24].

Thune and failed GOP leadership
Well, that’s embarrassing….

Senator Thune admits here that his 2016 plan for deficit reduction, tax cuts for the rich and trickle-down GDP rain dances, didn’t work. Thune and his Republican pals enacted Trumponomics, the mutated and more malignant form of Reaganomics, and, just like Reaganomics, Trumponomics is making the national debt worse. We’re accruing debt faster under Trump, as measured in raw dollars and in percent of GDP, than we did under the comparably good economic years of President Barack Obama’s second term.

Senator Thune is saying that he and his Republican pals have done nothing to tackle the deficit. Senator Thune is making one of the best cases possible for a change in management. Replace his colleague Mike Rounds, replace his party don, and elect new management to give the deficit a shot.


  1. jerry 2020-02-24 12:23

    When will republican Chubby trumpers like Thune admit that we are at our own peril when it comes to damned near everything. What kind of precautions are being taken for this virus???? nothing. How will the supply chain for goods and services run now that half the world is shut down??? These guys have gotten a pass for decades, now we will all pay the dues for that lack of vision and service to this country.

  2. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2020-02-24 13:28

    If you think of our country as one, a corporation must I say, or as an entity, then the Republican Party is the sales department, while the Democrats are the customer service department. Republicans, like a sales department, will say anything to make a sale, to make themselves look good, and give the appearance that growth is in hand, but then it takes overtime the customer service department, or the Democrats, to fix the wrongs, the lies, the misinformation of the sales department.

    To understand the Republican mind, or better yet the conservative mind, one only has to have some experience in sales, as I have had, to notice that the quantum nature of the GOP at best, is merely the belief among many in sales and many in the Republican Party. that as long as they make the sale, or pass legislation claiming great outcomes in a given time, which never happen, then everything is fine.

    Republicans like to power forward. They only like facts in the moment, or the moment of a sale, or the selling of a given piece of legislation in time and place. They use this tactic often when it comes to selling tax cuts. Plus, they also like to mention that JFK cut taxes, too, in 1962 to stimulate the economy, but what they don’t tell you is, that JFK, unlike Coolidge, Reagan, Bush, and now Trump, cut taxes and offset the initial revenue losses with cuts in the federal budget. So I guess JFK might have been in sales, too, back in the day, but I am sure not at the distain of a congressional customer service department of both parties, which then had to deal with the true realities of his tax policy.

  3. mike from iowa 2020-02-24 13:45

    If memory serves, Obama had serious deficit reductions, all the while slowly expanding the economy while dragging wingnuts kicking and screaming into fiscal reality.

    Which they immediately through away with taxcuts for the sole remaining koch bro.

  4. Porter Lansing 2020-02-24 13:46

    Hear, hear! John K Claussen SR.
    mfi _ Obama understood that a stable economy is a good economy. Republican peaks and valleys make them rich but are paid for by “we the workers”.

  5. jerry 2020-02-24 14:41

    Obama understood Austan Goolsbee and his vision. Painfully, we still had those dumbarse Chubby republicans that didn’t know arithmetic or we would have accomplished even more. Farmers understood something as well, success with just subsidies and not the combination of those and BRIBES.

  6. Richard Schriever 2020-02-24 14:55

    First thing Thune needs to do is stop telling himself these lies, “…..the one percent rate that we’ve seen this year, and the one to two percent rate we’ve seen for the balance of the Obama administration.”

    There is no way he can possibly formulate any sort of economic plan if he remains INTENTIONALLY dismissive of facts in favor of his need to demonize the “others'” party.

  7. mike from iowa 2020-02-24 14:56

    Be nice if a wingnut, even Marlboro Barbie would step up to the microphone and claim responsibility for ridiculous fiscal policies everybody and their dead pets knew wouldn’t work. They are the very definition of the word insane. These policies did not work for Raygun, either dumbass dubya and they sure as hell didn’t work for drumpf.

    Wingnuts are talking of another taxcut right before the election. This one, they claim, will be for middle class, just like the last failure.

    For the halibut, a fox news finance expert blamed the nearly 1000 point Dow drop, not on coronavirus fears but on bernie’s Vegas win.

  8. mike from iowa 2020-02-24 15:48

    For the record, the Dow closed down over a thousand points today. I guess that was Obama’s fault.

  9. Edwin Arndt 2020-02-24 16:28

    Let me get this straight. You are going to get the budget under control with
    Bernie Sanders as President?

  10. jerry 2020-02-24 16:35

    Indeed Mr. Arndt, correcto mundo! You win!!

  11. Donald Pay 2020-02-24 16:44

    I guess they have to tell themselves these lies. I don’t know why.

    Trump and Thune gave tax cuts to the wrong people, following the Dick Cheney plan that he got from Reagan: deficits don’t matter. Deficits only matters to Republicans when a Democrat lives in the White House. Raising taxes on the idle rich and corporations, then provided some relief if they moved their money into productive areas rather than stock buybacks is something Republicans never do. That tax rise on the wealthy should have been enough to fund an infrastructure program, provide student debt relief and fund more education grants. Instead we got stupid subsidies to dying industries (coal, uranium, etc.) and a broken trading system. Without the mistakes made by Trump and Thune we might be at 3 percent growth or more. Trump has interest rates down as low as they can go, which I think is very dumb. We’ve got a stock market that is vastly overbought. I think we’ve got one more bounce back from the coronavirus stock market dip, and then the market will correct, and it won’t be pretty. Stocks are high based on voodoo economics, not based the real economy that real people feel. The real economy is limping along. Employment numbers benefit from the baby dip after 9/11, and boomers retiring. And the jobs are not life sustaining, given tuition debt. We’re in for a reckoning. The Trump economy is not far away from hitting an iceberg.

  12. Robin Friday 2020-02-24 17:00

    Mr. Arndt, we don’t know how he’s going to govern, subject to Congressional cooperation, unless and until he’s elected. As the Trumpists said in the beginning, so many times “give him a chance!” The following is from the Washington Post:

    “We have to acknowledge one fundamental fact: No one knows how Sanders would perform as a nominee. You can say ‘America will never elect a socialist!’ but as I keep emphasizing, we don’t elect types of candidates, we elect individuals,” writes Paul Waldman.

    “You could have argued that America would never elect an African American with the middle name ‘Hussein’ or America would never elect a narcissistic reality-show buffoon.”

  13. Debbo 2020-02-24 17:06

    Thune must hate it when a little truth seeps out the side of his mouth.

  14. Porter Lansing 2020-02-24 17:09

    Edwin. One thing’s for darned sure. After you guys assaulting America with the criminal liar Trump, we’re not going to give a damn what any of you say. Yell your fool heads off for eight years, for all we care. Tough toenails … with fungus!

  15. Edwin Arndt 2020-02-24 17:58

    Robin, Bernie has told us multiple times how he intends to govern.
    Except that he does not know how much it will cost or where the money
    will come from.

    Porter, I stated on this blog some time ago that I am not a fan of Trump.
    It’s possible that you didn’t see it. I do not like perpetual chaos in
    government. In 2016 I wrote in Jeb Bush.

  16. Porter Lansing 2020-02-24 18:11

    I didn’t see that, Edwin. In that case, you’re just crying before you’re hurt, then? Negativity Bias is hard to overcome. Trust in America’s abilities to handle problems and crisis as they arise. We’ve done well for nearly 250 years.

  17. jerry 2020-02-24 19:49

    Mr. Arendt, billions will come from Wall Street tax on financial transactions, some say trillions. Most, if not all Democrats running, support that tax. It’s long past time to have the wealthy pay their fair share that they have received off the backs of the working folk.

  18. Porter Lansing 2020-02-24 19:58

    Great point, Jerry. As Mr. Claussen SR. said this morning. Democrats are the customer service department of American government. When the slimy Republican sales force drives the economic truck into the ditch with lies and false promises, it’s up to us to make things right, time after time.

  19. Edwin Arndt 2020-02-24 22:12

    Porter, good managers seldom have to deal with a crisis.
    You do your best to foresee potential problems and deal with them
    before any of them becomes a crisis. Those managers that go bulling
    forward with a project with too many unknowns are better known as gamblers.

  20. Porter Lansing 2020-02-24 22:17

    Good managers might not but managers are employees. Owners fix problems as they arise. Managers get paid. Owners get rich. It’s thinking like yours that has SD 45th in innovation skills out of 50 states. America doesn’t look to SD for anything because of the fear of failure most people wear like a millstone.,

  21. Debbo 2020-02-24 23:54

    Here’s how to humiliate an “absolute narcissist,” such as Pootie’s Puppet.

  22. Loren 2020-02-25 08:07

    My take on Johnny is that SD has its very own Susan Collins. He frets, is “concerned,” disagrees with some of Dump’s comments, wishes he wouldn’t tweet so much, etc, etc. THEN HE DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! He shows up at photo ops to support the Grim Reaper and NEVER contradicts him or his policies. How difficult would it be to vote some common sense and come back home and explain it to the electorate? SD is about as safe for a R as you can get. Is he and his jr. partner in crime (yes, I use that word with intent) that afraid of a reality show host? Guess so. Is that who we really want representing us? Guess so. :-(

  23. Donald Pay 2020-02-25 08:53

    Loren, you are absolutely correct about the Susan Collins-style gutlessness of the “concerned” Republicans. “Concerned” is a great word for weasels. Thune is like some old Victorian dowager who gets “vapors,” and faints, rather than say or do anything constructive.

    So, Loren has identified Thune as the first of two kinds of Republicans, the Susan Collins “concerned” type and the “lock ’em up” Trumpite.

    I have a sense that Thune, Collins and the rest of the “concerned” Republicans secretly despise Dear Dictator. They show up with the Grim Reaper because they lack guts and common sense that Loren so well puts forward. I suppose that makes some sense, if not common, if all you are concerned about is your personal political career.

    Many conservative leaders in the Weimar Republic were “concerned” about Hitler’s statements and antics, but they didn’t do anything constructive to oppose him. Their “concern” lasted until Hitler marched them into the concentration camps, or they joined in his criminality.

  24. marvin kammerer 2020-02-25 10:06

    our congressional three are a threat to the decent people of sd.john thune their leader & one of these days he will silently walk into the sunset with a full sack on his back or leading the other two who will be pulling the wagon with their ill gotten gain heading to the false sunset!

  25. Richard Schriever 2020-02-25 10:07

    Mr. Arndt, How many “good managers” are subject to election by those the “manage” every 2, 4 or 6 years? Yet another reason why the whole “government like a business” rational is just – NONSENSE. Government is NOT and will never be “a business”. Business management rules DO NOT APPLY to elected officials. The so-called “deep statists” – those full time career officials – sure – somewhat. But there too – the rules and requirements for performance are entirely different to any private business. For one – they have next to ZERO INPUT into their budgetary decisions. Come on down to the real world sir.

  26. o 2020-02-25 10:58

    Government is not business. Government works for the betterment of all – no owners, no customers; business exploits a (limited) customer base for the benefit of the owners.

  27. o 2020-02-25 11:11

    Huh, cutting taxes reduces the amount of money going to the government and increases the deficit AGAIN. That didn’t reduce the debt with Reagan (Norquist); that didn’t reduce the debt for Bush. President Trump and the current GOP – they REALLY seemed to think it would work this time.

    Maybe next time the GOP tries it, it will work.

  28. Porter Lansing 2020-02-25 11:11

    SELL SOUTH DAKOTA? – If America went broke and we had to liquidate five of our least productive states; where would your state rate? You know. States that cost USA money every month with little to show for it? What does America look to South Dakota for that no other state gives us?
    ~ So long, friends. Back after Easter 🐰

  29. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-02-26 05:00

    Edwin, the point here is not that President Sanders is guaranteeing that he will reduce the national debt. The point here is that Thune and Trump have failed miserably at living up to one of the primary promises they made to argue their superiority to the Democrats and that they are now acting like they never made such a promise and should not be held acting accountable for producing exactly the opposite of the result they promised.

    Bernie Sanders and those of us willing to vote for him are at least honest about our intentions and have better evidence to back up our claims. We don’t lie to you and say tax cuts pay for themselves. We don’t lie to you and say we’ll reduce the debt only to completely ignore that promise once elected. We tell you that we want to do big things and that we may well need to raise taxes to pay for them.

  30. Edwin Arndt 2020-02-26 17:59

    Cory, the big question is,, how much will taxes have to be raised, and who
    is going to pay them?
    It is never good policy to go storming ahead without some reasonable
    idea of what the cost will be, or, if you wish, how much money the
    investment will require. I have no confidence that Sanders has any realistic
    idea of what it would cost to implement all of his programs.

    Sanders wants to ban coal and ban fracking. A huge section of the North Dakota
    economy would be devastated by Sanders. Sanders talks about being transformative.
    I, personally, do not want my life transformed. I wonder how many actually do?
    Would it be a majority? I personally think not. We shall see.

  31. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-02-26 18:28

    Edwin, yes, that’s a good question, but we have to start first by agreeing that the answers Thune and Trump offered to previous questions about what they would do about the national debt were false, and that we can’t trust Thune to mean what he says about debt reduction. Do we agree on that?

  32. leslie 2020-02-26 20:45

    Well said Schreiver! Arndt?

  33. Edwin Arndt 2020-02-26 21:44

    I have said on this blog several times that I am not a fan of
    Donald Trump.Being a resident of North Dakota, I don’t keep
    track of what Thune says.

    On the national debt; many politicians have promised to reduce the national
    debt. If memory serves me right, and without doing any research, it seems
    to me that Bill Clinton may have had one or two years when the debt
    did not increase. For the most part, the debt increases every year.

    I’m 76 years old. I’ve been a somewhat interested observer of the political
    scene for perhaps 60 of those years. For as long as I can remember, there have
    been those who decry the size of the national debt and the horrible fate
    that awaited us all when the crap hit the fan. It has not happened yet and
    I really don’t understand why. It’s beyond me. We go merrily on our way
    borrowing and spending and so far it seems to work. Yet common sense tells
    us that eventually there will be a price to pay. One thing that makes
    government different is that government can print money. That might
    make a difference. This is all way above my pay grade (if I worked for
    the government). If someone wishes to add their thoughts or is able to
    clarify, feel free.

  34. grudznick 2020-02-26 22:27

    Mr. Arndt, as a contemporary of yours, I have always found your thoughts, some of which I have disagreed with, but some of which are just fine, a value to all on the bloggings. Thank you, sir, for your feelings that agree with grudznick.

  35. Edwin Arndt 2020-02-27 08:21

    Thanks, Grudz.

  36. leslie 2020-02-27 19:43

    Edwin, why comment on a Thune thread you don’t pay attention to (you’ve heard of Moscow Mitch McConnell?) when you disavow Trump’s criminal and incompetent governing (grifting!!), yet seem to lust for his promises to coal country in the face of global warming THIS YEAR? Coal and its pipeline infrastructure to Koch refineries for export, including fracking, must be curtailed now. Now. Exxon ect managers created this world wide crisis.

    Wyo, ND, Colo and eastern coal producers are all on the way out. For the good of your grandkids’ survival. Get behind it. That’s something you can still do at 76.

    In addition common sense will lead you to discover that government spending and infrastructure in no way lend themselves to kitchen table republican “budgeting”. Bill Clinton did indeed halt annual debt increases. Regardless as you say it doesn’t matter like Thune seems to think. How’s Heidi these days?

    Whether it is Bernie or another Democratic nominee, the days are over for the impeached president and his treacherous abetting Republican shills who scheme to scuttle the vote. Vote Blue for a democratic future. Don’t throw your vote away like last time. HRC would have the ship of state steaming away from this constant unprecedented crisis Trump revels in. But don’t throw your vote away.

    Join us!

    It is looking like Mich, Wisc, Fla and Penn will decide the election. Or Russia.

  37. Edwin Arndt 2020-02-27 21:20

    Leslie, one more time. First, I don’t know what Heidi is doing these days.
    You do know she was not reelected. Coal and oil will be with us for a while,
    no matter how much you might dislike them. The change will be evolutionary,
    not revolutionary. I cannot in any way have my vote interpreted as being in
    support of abortion or what I consider an oxymoron, same sex marriage.
    I simply cannot.
    We don’t agree. Deal with it.

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