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GOP’s big flip-flop on debt

Updated

Much of what you hear from Republicans these days is how much they care about a balanced budget, but it wasn’t always like that.

While Democratic and Republican presidents lowered the federal deficit for decades leading up to 1980, President Reagan exploded the debt, as did Bushes 41 and 43. And Jonathan Chait writes about how House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan, who is now calling for a balanced budget in ten years, was once part of the group demanding that President George W. Bush increase the deficit.

Chait said on NOW with Alex Wagner Tuesday, “George W. Bush was quite the supply-sider…he was arguing that deficits don’t matter. And Paul Ryan was to his right, saying the tax cuts are  too small.”

Asked about how Ryan rebranded himself as a deficit hawk, Chait replied, “It’s quite a con.”

Joy Reid filled-in for Alex Wagner on Tuesday. Watch her full discussion with Jonathan Chait and the NOW panel about why the Republican Party is trying to bear hug the idea deficit cutting.

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GOP's big flip-flop on debt

Updated