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Hayes: Why Didn't Trump Mention Our National Debt Even Once?


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Do Republicans not care about debt and deficits any more?

Stephen F. Hayes

Jan 31, 2018

I was flying cross-country Tuesday night and didn’t see Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address. The instant reviews were predictably mixed. Trump supporters, even reluctant ones, seemed to like it. His critics hated it. 

I read it twice and mostly liked what was in there. The tribute to North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho was moving even on the page. But the most notable thing about the speech was actually what it left out. 

Trump said nothing about the country’s $20 trillion debt crisis. Literally not a word. It was a long, long speech—80 minutes, counting applause breaks—but the president and his speechwriting team apparently couldn’t find any room for a mention of debt and the slow-motion crisis that is upon us. 

Did they simply not think about it? Or did they deliberately exclude any talk of spending restraint and, most importantly, entitlement reform? 




These are the kinds of things that Republicans once believed—and once articulated. No longer? 

Most of Donald Trump’s first State of the Union speech will be quickly forgotten, even the parts that most excited Republicans. What we’ll remember, I’m afraid, when we look back at $20 trillion in debt as an urgent but solvable problem, was the gaping hole at its center.

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