Look no further than the national debt for proof that fiscal responsibility is out of fashion.


Federal spending is up more than 10 percent this year, compared to just a year ago.


The annual deficit is expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2020, and in every year for the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.


Add up all those yearly deficits and you get the federal debt. It’s about $22 trillion and has grown by $3 trillion over the past three years.


Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell earlier this month urged lawmakers to adopt more responsible tax-and-spending plans.


“Putting the federal budget on a sustainable path when the economy is strong would help ensure that policymakers have the space to use fiscal policy to assist in stabilizing the economy during a downturn,” Powell told the House committee.


As he was speaking, President Donald Trump used social media to criticize Powell and the Federal Reserve, complaining that interest rates were too high.


Trump’s opinion is a complete reversal from 2015 and 2016, when he accused the Federal Reserve of keeping interest rates too low.


It’s a flip-flop similar to the flip-flops of Trump and his supporters on other issues.


In 2015 and 2016, for example, Republicans were demanding that Democratic President Barack Obama reduce federal deficits.


After Trump took office, those same Republicans cheerfully supported tax cuts that sent the deficit — and the national debt — soaring.


Then they happily approved budget deals to increase spending, especially military spending.


The dramatic rise in the nation’s debt over the past three years can surprise no one familiar with Trump’s track record in business.


Those who argue that government should be run like a business are getting a look at what that means when the chief executive has a long record of driving businesses into bankruptcy. This is not a president who has much regard for fulfilling his financial obligations or paying his bills.


When it comes to government debt, there is an economic school of thought that argues that big deficits and huge debt are good things. That theory usually is espoused by socialists, rather than Republicans.


In more conventional circles, economists advocate restraint, saying governments with smaller debts can spend less tax revenue on interest on that debt and more on, say, national parks and education. Smaller debt loads also give governments more options when the economy turns bad.


That’s the point Powell was making when he testified before the House committee. Smaller deficits and a more manageable cumulative debt would give lawmakers more flexibility during a recession.


That was the case in 2008, when the worst recession since the 1930s struck. Congress approved payroll tax cuts and increased spending to stabilize the economy and help hard-hit Americans.


At the time, the federal deficit was just under $460 billion. It would exceed $1 trillion from 2009 to 2012, as the country climbed out of the recession.


By 2015, the annual deficit was at $442 billion.


It more than doubled in four years and is still going up. As the president touts his slow-growing economy, it’s wise to keep in mind that his tax cuts and big spending increases do come at a cost.


It’s just that the cost will be borne by future generations of Americans, not the deadbeats who ran up the bills.


A native of Garden City, Julie Doll is a former journalist who has worked at newspapers across Kansas.