Why do conservatives and people who claim to care about constitutionally limited government make excuses for Donald Trump?

It happens all the time. The other day, I posted an article highlighting the fact that the Trump administration has increased the national debt by over $7 trillion. The very first comment I got when I posted the article on my Facebook page was “what about Obama?”

OK. I’ll play.

The national debt grew by $8.59 trillion over Obama’s two terms. As of Oct. 8, the Trump administration has added $7.12 trillion. In other words, the Trump administration has nearly matched the amount of debt added by the Obama administration in less than half the time.

For a little additional perspective, the fiscal 2020 deficit will come in well over $3 trillion. The largest deficit during the Obama years came in at $1.41 trillion in 2009. So, the Trump administration has more than doubled the previous record budget shortfall.

But that won’t stop the excuses. Trump apologists will blame the spending on the coronavirus pandemic. “He had no choice! He had to deal with this crisis,” they will cry. Nevermind that Obama also had to “deal with” a major economic meltdown and conservatives criticized him for the spending anyway, Trump was in record deficit territory before the pandemic.

In fiscal 2019, the Trump administration ran the fifth-biggest deficit in history. Through the first two months of fiscal 2020, the deficit was already 12 percent over 2019’s huge Obama-like number and was on track to eclipse $1 trillion. Prior to 2020, the U.S. government had only run deficits over $1 trillion four times, all during the Great Recession. We were approaching that number prior to the pandemic, despite what Trump kept calling “the greatest economy in the history of America.”

Clearly, this isn’t a coronavirus problem. Unconstitutional spending has been the modus operandi of every modern presidential administration – the current regime not excepted.

Nevertheless, if you really want to play the comparison game, Obama was awful. Trump is objectively just as bad. And arguably worse.

But why play this dumb comparison game?

Claiming Obama was worse or that Trump is “better than Hillary” doesn’t really prove anything. Stop comparing your guy with other crappy politicians – and I’m saying this no matter who your guy or gal happens to be. You should measure him against constitutional principles. Every politician and government official, no matter what party they hail from, should be held up against standards and principles. If they don’t measure up, hold them accountable. Otherwise, you’re nothing but a partisan hack or a presidential fanboy.

Mike Maharrey

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles


Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog


State of the Nullification Movement

232 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report


Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty


Maharrey Minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens. maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues - history, and application today


Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!



The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.