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Haley Campaign Press Release - Haley vs. DC Insiders on Spending and Debt

January 10, 2024

Many candidates talk a tough game on spending and debt, but those same candidates supported debt limit increases that led to Washington's bloated spending and inflation crisis. Nikki Haley is an outsider with a track record of standing up to both Democrats and Republicans on spending issues.

In the first debate, Haley said: "No one is telling the American people the truth. The truth is that Biden didn't do this to us. Our Republicans did this to us too. When they passed that $2.2 trillion COVID stimulus bill, they left us with 90 million people on Medicaid, 42 million people on food stamps. No one has told you how to fix it... You have Ron DeSantis, you've got Tim Scott, you've got Mike Pence — they all voted to raise the debt. And Donald Trump added $8 trillion to our debt. Our kids are never going to forgive us for this." DONALD TRUMP

Despite claiming he would pay down the national debt as president, the debt increased by almost $7.8 trillion during the Trump administration.

  • It amounts to about $23,500 in new federal debt for every person in the country.
  • The nation's total public debt was just under $20 trillion when Trump took office in 2017. Four years later, the figure was about $27.8 trillion, a 39% increase.
  • Trump signed an increase in the debt ceiling. He signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that raised Budget Control Act caps by $296 billion and suspended the debt ceiling. In Congress, DeSantis and Scott both voted for this debt ceiling increase.
  • The government's interest cost was around $523 billion in the 2020 fiscal year. That outstrips all spending on education, employment training, research, and social services.


  • Washington Post: Trump's most enduring legacy could be the historic rise in the national debt
  • CNBC: Economists rip Trump's spending spree as 'foolhardy,' 'ludicrous,' and 'the dumbest'
  • ProPublica: Donald Trump built a national debt so big (even before the pandemic) that it'll weigh down the economy for years


  • In 2012, DeSantis promised he would never vote to increase the debt limit, saying, "I'm not going to raise the debt ceiling. We need to force Congress to make tough choices."
  • Once in Congress, DeSantis voted for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that raised Budget Control Act caps by $296 billion and suspended the debt ceiling. Trump signed it into law.


Haley blames both Republicans and Democrats for Washington's spending addiction.

  • Haley blames both Republicans and Democrats for supporting multi-trillion dollars spending bills that have increased the national debt.
  • Haley criticizes Republicans and Democrats for bringing back wasteful earmark spending: "And did Republicans try to make that right once they made that mistake? No, they doubled down on it and opened up earmarks for the first time in 10 years."

Haley rolled out her plan to tackle federal spending and debt.

  • In a speech on September 22 in New Hampshire, Haley rolled out her economic plan, including her plan to tackle Washington's out-of-control spending addiction. She called for:
    • Place a limit on federal spending linked to a percentage of our economy.
    • End taxpayer bailouts for special interests.
    • Veto any budget that doesn't take our country back to pre-COVID spending levels.
    • Eliminate Biden's $500 billion in green energy subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act.
    • Implement mandatory zero-based budgeting, requiring government programs to be justified in every budget, instead of basing budgeting decisions on the previous year's funding level.
    • Withhold Congress' pay if it fails to pass a budget. No budget, no pay.
    • Implement entitlement reform for younger generations to save Social Security and Medicare from going bankrupt.
    • Push the Fed to maintain a strong dollar.

Haley fought the big spenders as governor and UN ambassador.

  • During Haley's tenure, debt declined and reserves grew in South Carolina.
  • Haley vetoed $459 million in spending from the state budget.
  • 35,000 people moved from welfare to work under Haley's tenure.
  • Haley has consistently opposed bailouts—from the bank bailout to Biden's COVID bailouts.
  • Haley introduced report cards for the South Carolina legislature and used her personal website and Facebook page to call out Republicans who voted for big spending, like a legislative pay raise, more debt, and tax increases.
  • Thanks to Haley's efforts, the U.S. cut the UN budget and saved one billion dollars.

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - Haley vs. DC Insiders on Spending and Debt Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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