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U.S. Debt Ceiling

The deficit of deficit talk in Trump's Washington

The deficit of deficit talk in Trump's Washington

As a candidate for president, Donald Trump made some bold predictions about deficits. He said the federal budget would be balanced “relatively quickly.” He also pledged to reduce the trade deficit, promising to withdraw from trade deals he saw as disadvantageous to his “America First” strategy. Both shortfalls have gone in exactly the opposite direction.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce revealed that the nation’s trade deficit last year grew to $891.2 million, the highest ever recorded, and driven in large measure by the $419 billion gap with China. The budget deficit, meanwhile, is up 77 percent for the first four months of the budget year for a total of $310.3 billion...