Trump challenger Sanford warns US debt, deficit will 'blow up on people'

Republican presidential candidate Mark SanfordMark SanfordTrump becomes presumptive GOP nominee after sweeping primaries Boston Globe endorses Trump's GOP challenger Bill Weld Trump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid MORE says in a new interview that the U.S. national debt and deficit could "blow up," warning that certain economic conditions for the country parallel those in the period leading up to the Great Depression.

“This debt, deficit government spending thing is going to blow up on people. We’re living in the 1920s all over again and we don’t even realize it, and what followed the 1920s was a thing called the Great Depression,” Sanford, a former South Carolina governor and congressman, old The Hill’s Saagar Enjeti.

Sanford said in the interview that while he agrees with President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE on most immigration issues and the need to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump has not reduced the national debt or deficit since entering office. He also noted that Trump has not completed the border wall that was a central component of his 2016 White House bid.

"For all of the banter that’s gone back and forth, he hasn’t gotten it done," Sanford said. "I mean he’s certainly caused a lot of friction, a lot of smoke and fire, but there’s not been an additional mile of wall built. So you have a question of results and you have a question of broken promises with things that are core that are going to materially impact people’s lives."

Trump administration officials have acknowledged that a little more than 60 miles of border fencing has been completed between the U.S. and Mexico since Trump took office, with most efforts spent on building barriers in areas where an old border fence already stood.

However, the president and his advisors have said that at least 450 miles of border fence will be built by the end of next year.

The Congressional Budget Office also announced Monday that the federal budget deficit for 2019 is estimated at $984 billion, representing 4.7 percent of the gross domestic product and the highest national deficit since 2012, under former President Obama.

The estimates for the deficit in 2019 is $205 billion higher than it was in 2018.

Sanford in his interview with Hill.TV also accused 2020 Democratic presidential candidates of not addressing the fiscal issues impacting Americans across the country with their White House campaigns.

“I’m running because I think we’re walking our way toward the most predictable financial crisis in the history of our nation, and yet remarkably we’re having zero conversation in this presidential cycle about the debt and the deficit and government spending,” he said.

– Marina Pitofsky