Donald Trump's three-point plan to solve the national debt

How would a President Trump deal with the national debt? He hasn't been asked that too often, but here are some indications. Hint: He blasted Obama's latest speech on the subject.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Donald Trump speaks during the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, in this Feb. 10 file photo.

If he’s elected president, how would Donald Trump solve the national debt problem? Easy – he’d pay to settle it himself.

Just kidding! Mr. Trump has said nothing of the sort. He doesn’t have that kind of money, anyway. Warren Buffet might – but he’s already promised his to charity.

The subject of the Donald and the deficit comes up because on Thursday Trump blasted Obama’s recent speech outlining his proposed fiscal path for the nation.

It “wasn’t a deficit-cutting speech,” said Trump, speaking with New York Talk 1300 radio host Fred Dicker.

It was a “stump speech. That was the beginning of his run for president,” Trump continued.

Obama vs. Paul Ryan: five ways their debt plans differ

OK, Mr. Billionaire, how would you handle it then? You’re talking about maybe running for president, after all.

As it happens Trump does not appear to have addressed that question at length. For some weird reason interviewers seem much more interested in asking him about where Obama was born than how a President Trump might govern the country.

But you can piece together bits of a policy from various pronouncements Trump has made in recent weeks. We’ll call it “Trump’s three-point plan to solve the debt crisis.”

SOAK THE RICH ... COUNTRIES. Trump’s big thing is international respect. People are laughing at us around the world, he says, and he wants that to stop. One way to do this would be to end the fact that they are “ripping us off” (Trump’s words) by letting the US pick up the tab for being the world’s policeman.

“As an example, we are protecting South Korea from North Korea. Why aren’t they paying us?” Trump said in a February interview on CNN.

More recently he’s charged that the Arab League is letting us get rid of Muammar Qaddafi for it without offering to kick in a dime.

“If the United States were properly run, and if we had leaders that knew what they were doing, the United States would be flowing in cash,” said Trump March 31 on MSNBC.

IN PICTURES: Will these Republicans run in 2012?

CHERISH THE SENIORS. OK, so Trump doesn’t like Obama’s debt plan. Does he approve of the GOP alternative, drawn up by Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin? Umm ... not really. There are big parts of it Trump does not like. Specifically, he thinks Representative Ryan’s proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program, with the government subsidizing seniors’ purchase of private health insurance, is politically risky.

“I don’t think the Republicans should be out on this ledge,” said Trump April 7 on CNN.

So how would Trump solve the problem of Medicare, which is the largest single driver of the nation’s long-term debt?

“Well, I’m studying that situation very closely, and if and when I decide to run ... I’ll have a plan,” said Trump.

“The seniors have to be cherished. They have to be taken care of,” he added.

LET’S MAKE A DEAL! Trump has said he considers himself a tea party adherent. On NBC’s "Today" show April 7 he decried “this ridiculous, absolutely killer of a spending that’s going on,” added that “Obamacare” has been a “disaster.”

But at heart he seems to regard straightening out the nation’s fiscal crisis as more of a process problem more than a challenge of ideology. When a shutdown of the government loomed last week he faulted Obama, not for resisting further budget cuts, but for not getting the necessary deal done.

“I’d bring everybody together and we’d have a budget and it would get done,” said Trump on “Today.”

Wow, why didn’t Obama think of that?

Obama vs. Paul Ryan: five ways their debt plans differ

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