Radio host Rush Limbaugh, who spent the entirety of the Obama years accusing the president of being solely responsible for the rising deficits and national debt, admitted that fiscal conservatism was a sham all along.
Limbaugh threw out decades of Republican orthodoxy when a caller on Wednesday suggested that Republicans nominate a young fiscal conservative instead of the president, citing the $1 trillion debt projected for this year.
“Republicans can nominate a young, potentially two-term president, one that believes in fiscal conservatism,” the caller told Limbaugh. “We’re gonna have — in 2019, there’s gonna be a $1 trillion deficit. Trump doesn’t really care about that. He’s not really a fiscal conservative. We don't, we have to acknowledge that Trump has been cruelly used.”
“Nobody is a fiscal conservative anymore,” Limbaugh replied. “All this talk about concern for the deficit and the budget has been bogus for as long as it’s been around.”
Limbaugh was among biggest deficit hawks:
The admission from Limbaugh is ironic given that he was among the loudest voices on the right attacking Obama over deficits. Limbaugh told listeners that Obama was “the architect of deficits and debt unheard of in this nation,” despite defending the two wars that Bush started while slashing taxes.
Obama’s 2008 opponent John McCain ran his campaign on the premise that rising deficits are bad. The 2010 rise of the Tea Party was driven by Republican hysteria over the debt. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan made an entire career of decrying deficits before he led the way to approve a $1.5 trillion tax cut that led to the current deficit.
Trump himself vowed not just to eliminate deficits but the entire $22 trillion national debt.
"It can be done. ... It will take place and it will go relatively quickly. ... If you have the right people, like, in the agencies and the various people that do the balancing ... you can cut the numbers by two pennies and three pennies and balance a budget quickly and have a stronger and better country,” Trump told Fox News during his campaign.
Limbaugh doubles down:
If there was any doubt that Limbaugh was serious about his newfound belief that deficits don’t matter, Limbaugh later on Wednesday’s show lashed out at former Republican Rep. Mark Sanford for voicing concern over the rising deficit.
"How many years have people tried to scare everybody about the deficit?" Limbaugh asked. "The years, how many decades of politicians tried to scare us about deficit the national debt, the deficit, any number of things. And yet, here we're still here and the great jaws of the deficit have not bitten off our heads and chewed them up and spit them out."