Deficits and Debt: Where Republicans Went Wrong
Two words John: Ron Paul.
When did fiscal responsibility and fiscal conservatism get de-linked?
That is the key question that underlies the fault lines in the current GOP civil war, playing out over the debt-ceiling debate as every day we get closer to default.
It’s too simple to call this a fight between the old guard and the Tea Party. The real test is whether government fiscal policy should be focused on reducing the deficit and the debt or whether the real goal is to keep taxes low at all costs. It’s a divide decades in the making between the deficit hawks and the anti-tax absolutists.
On one side is a belief in math rooted in the businessman’s reality—profits and losses, revenues and expenditures. It is a two-way equation.
On the other side is the blind faith that tax cuts will always ultimately pay for themselves. In a businessman’s world this imbalanced approach usually leads to bankruptcy.
Fiscal conservatism and fiscal responsibility used to be synonymous. This was a core distinction between Republicans and Democrats. When a Republican candidate promised conservative budgets, he meant to rein in spending and reduce deficits and debts, in contrast to a belief in Keynesian social spending and the political benefits of overgenerous union contracts. The bottom line was generational responsibility.