Deficits are a tool used to by Republicans to block Democratic priorities, and not a problem in and of themselves. This isn’t new

$22 trillion and rising:

The debt figure has been accelerating since the passage of Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut in December 2017 and action by Congress last year to increase spending on domestic and military programs.

The national debt is the total of the annual budget deficits. The Congressional Budget Office projects that this year’s deficit will be $897 billion — a 15.1 percent increase over last year’s imbalance of $779 billion. In the coming years, the CBO forecasts that the deficit will keep rising, top $1 trillion annually beginning in 2022 and never drop below $1 trillion through 2029

talkingpointsmemo.com/news/national-debt-tops-22-trillion

The key thing to understand here is that this isn’t a bug in Republican politics but a feature. They know that tax cuts will run up debt, no matter what their rhetoric about cuts paying for themselves might be. They know it and they embrace it, because they know that when Democrats are eventually back in power, they can use the deficits to block Democratic spending priorities. They’ve done this one-two going on forty years now, and they won’t stop until and unless they’re made to.

From their perspective, both taxes and spending are problems to be solved through cuts. That’s first principles for them. Deficits, however, are a second order problem, one that only gets attention when in service to first principles. I know this seems maddeningly inconsistent from outside that worldview, but I promise you that in the inside it really doesn’t look or feel contradictory at all.

One of the most clever bits of Reagan’s coalition building was getting the deficit hawks and defense hawks into alignment. If all spending is bad except defense spending, then you’ve really put Democrats in a box, because Democrats like defense spending too. When they’re in power, they can’t offer to increase domestic spending by cutting defense spending. They want both! Which leaves only the option of raids on taxes to pay for new spending priorities, and THAT is a much harder sell.

Paul Ryan’s legacy? Among other things, $22 trillion in debt

When they start up the talk of the coming debt calamity a few weeks from now, remember how we got here. Remember the role the leaders of “fiscal conservatism” played in all this.

When Paul Ryan became speaker of the House in 2015, the federal budget deficit was $438 billion. He blamed the “failed policies of President Obama” for budget deficits that had exploded to $1.4 trillion in 2009, the year after the Great Recession, though shortfalls began shrinking in the following years and were continuing to fall as Ryan took the gavel.

Today, with Ryan preparing to retire from Congress, the annual federal budget deficit is again approaching $1 trillion. Over his two decades in Congress, the total national debt increased from less than $6 trillion to nearly $22 trillion. Yet the years of his speakership saw no new foreign conflict or recession that forced the government to live beyond its means. The problem was a Republican-led Congress that pushed a small-government agenda only in part. When President Trump took office, he embraced tax cuts but rejected structural spending overhauls. But even he complained about the spending bill Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought him last year, which met Democrats’ demands for more domestic spending to keep up with the $716 billion Republicans pledged for defense in 2019 without imposing discipline in other areas to compensate.
— Read on www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-12/paul-ryan-s-legacy-of-debt