White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was on Fox News this morning, and a co-host asked what Donald Trump's plan is to address the annual budget deficit, which is on track to reach $3 trillion. The presidential spokesperson relied:
"[I]t's a good question. I spoke with the president about this just before coming and joining you and he said, absolutely, the debt is a big second term priority of his."
As 2020 issues go, this is -- and should be -- a low priority, which voters are paying very little attention to. But I continue to believe if debt reduction is going to be, as McEnany put it, a "big" priority for a Republican White House in the event of a Trump victory, it's something Americans should probably consider in more detail.
Remember, Trump, reflecting on the nation's $25 trillion debt, declared in May, "Well, we're going to cut.... We're going to cut back very substantially."
He made similar comments in an interview soon after, when a conservative radio host asked whether the president has a debt-reduction plan. "I do, I do," Trump said, adding that the size of the national debt "bothers" him, "but we're going to get out of it."
A Reuters report on the comments added that the president "did not provide details" on how he intended to address the debt.
To be sure, fiscal issues don't much matter right now, but if Trump is re-elected, he makes debt reduction a "big" priority, and he starts pursuing "very substantial" cuts, those decisions may have a meaningful impact on the lives of millions. Voters would be wise to wonder what the president has in mind for the chopping block.
Postscript: I'd be remiss if I neglected to mention that Trump's rhetoric related to the national debt has long been incoherent and hypocritical. I'm not at all sure he's even familiar with the meaning of any of the relevant words or phrases.