Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said Tuesday that in his view the $22.5 trillion national debt is not a pressing issue. "I don't see this as a huge problem at all right now. [It's] quite manageable,” Kudlow told CNBC’s Kelly Evans.
Kudlow has not always been so sanguine about the national debt. In 2009, he sharply criticized the Obama administration for its efforts to stimulate the economy through deficit spending that increased the debt. “The families of America take a look at this budget and these humongous deficits and the doubling of the debt and so forth and the out of control spending ... this is the most unbalanced fiscal story coming out of Washington, really in our history," Kudlow said at the time.
Kudlow also claimed that the Republican tax cuts were largely paying for themselves. "I would argue strongly that the corporate tax cut has already been paid for and roughly 2/3rds of the overall tax cut has been paid for," he told Evans.
Although this is a frequently repeated talking point in the Trump administration, most economists say the Republican tax cuts have not and will not pay for themselves, with the Congressional Budget Office estimating that they will reduce federal revenues by $1.9 trillion over 10 years. Reviewing a recent analysis of the issue by the Congressional Research Service, Howard Gleckman of Tax Policy Center concluded that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have fallen “wildly short of paying for itself in growth-driven new revenue.”