Something revealing happened on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program recently. Last week, the famousconservative radio host had a discussion with a caller that went like this:

CALLER: In 2019, there’s going to be a $1 trillion deficit. Trump doesn’t really care about that. He’s not really a fiscal conservative. We have to acknowledge that Trump has been cruelly used.

LIMBAUGH: Nobody is a fiscal conservative anymore. All this talk about concern for the deficit and the budget has been bogus for as long as it’s been around.

Wait, what?

I’ve never considered my concern for fiscal conservatism as bogus. I’m old enough to remember when Rush used to rail about it as if it were a real thing.  Just a few years ago, he even renamed President Barack Obama the “The Architect Of Deficits And Debt Unheard Of In This Nation Prior To His Arrival.”  

Donald Trump ostensibly cared about it, too.  When he was a candidate, he told Sean Hannity that balancing the budget should be pretty easy:

“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.”

But after his election, he no longer seemed concerned about the topic.  After he didn’t even mention the soaring deficit in his State of the Union address, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney explained its omission. “Nobody cares.”

In the wake of this supposed apathy, the deficit has been growing.  According to CNN:

1) The budget deficit grew $146.9 billion in the month of March alone.

2) The deficit for this fiscal year is now $691 billion — a 15% increase (or roughly $100 billion) from where we were at this point in 2018.

3) Treasury is projecting that the deficit will surge over $1 trillion by the end of the fiscal year in September.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza also points out that our politicians will not pay a political price for all of this debt. “Less than 50% of people in a January Pew poll said that lowering the federal deficit should be a top priority of Washington policymakers. That’s down, rapidly, from 72% who said the same earlier this decade.”

I, for one, have not abandoned fiscal conservatism. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why I support the Convention of States project. Article V allows the states to call a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments that can make the feds do what they are supposed to do, but seem incapable of doing. Through a COS convention, “we the people” can pass amendments to curtail spending, keep taxation low, and balance the budget.

Whether or not this is still a topic people want to talk about, it’s a problem that will not go away.

Soon – sooner than we think – our nation will have to deal with this out-of-control problem.  

It’s pretty clear our politicians aren’t going to lead the way. 

Image Credit: Gage Skidmoreon Flickr

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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