Former Reagan budget director: GOP needs 'courage' on fiscal policy under Trump

President Reagan's former budget director David Stockman told Hill.TV's "Rising" on Thursday that the Republican Party under President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates MORE needs to get courage and stand up for spending cuts. 

"The job of the Republican Party is to be the fiscal watchdog of the country, the protector of the country," Stockman told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton. 

"You've got a guy in the Oval Office, who said I'm never going to touch Social Security. You have a guy who said I can't think of enough spending for defense, even more than the department asked for," he continued. 

"We need presidential leadership. We need the Republican Party to get some courage, and start standing up for real spending cuts," he said.

Trump released a budget this week that includes large proposed cuts to domestic spending, but that would boost defense spending. It would balance in 15 years, but relies on unlikely economic growth assumptions to get there.

The budget is essentially dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled House. 

Stockman warned that to solve the country's spending problem, states would have to take control of various federal programs. 

"It's going to take sweeping surgery. We're going to basically have to reinstate federalism, send most programs like education, welfare, and food stamps back to the states on a block grant reduced in size, and they're going to have to figure out how to live with it on their own," he said. "We're going broke. I don't know why people can't see that."

Stockman, who frequently criticizes Trump, is the author of "Peak Trump: The Undrainable Swamp and the Fantasy of MAGA." 

— Julia Manchester