It’s no secret that there are in reality only a few hard-and-fast differences between the political parties, though they are significant enough as to distinguish them, before you get into specific policy and nuance. Some of these things have evolved over time as the parties have changed, of course. The Republicans used to value labor unions. Democrats didn’t always have the best record on civil rights. You used to be investigated by the FBI for even admitting you were a Socialist!
Today’s political parties have much more of a baseline than they have had in the past, and that means aside from normal variances in commitment to individual ideas, the rules are pretty much set: Democrats represent the working class, minorities, human rights, and equality. Republicans represent business interests, money, keeping money, saving money, and um… Did I say money already? Anyway, the primary goals of parties’ agendas in government are well-established at this point.
The problem is, to run a country, you have to spend some money. Republican messaging for the last 30 years has centered on how the Democrats love to spend your money, while the GOP wants to give your money back to you. But they can’t even print up a flyer to tell you that without spending some of your money to do it. And they do so much more than print flyers.
And now the problem for the GOP is that their new Tangerine Jesus just isn’t that practiced at being a Republican. Even without the $1 trillion in infrastructure programs that Trump has promised, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that federal debt will grow at an average of $860 billion per year over the next ten years.
Somebody was listening to that promise, though. Today, Senate Democrats are set to deliver their own $1 trillion program that would create 15 million jobs over the next ten years. Being as the GOP has no such plan (and never would), Trump, eager to look good on television, is likely to give the Democrats’ plan a look. Less than a week after his inauguration, it looks as though Prima Donald is headed for a showdown with the budget hawks that have been running his party for decades.
How will President Trump grapple with the GOP leaders who have staked their careers on fiscal conservatism? It should be fun to watch.