Blacknell.net

Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

On The Lie That Is “Fiscal Conservative”

I used to bang my head against the wall every time I heard someone say “I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.”  And then I realized I was going to need my brain for (hopefully) another 50 years.  But silly shit like this is the origin of that problem.  There are, in reality, *very* few “fiscal conservatives” (in a literal reading of the phrase) in elected office.  Rather, the phrase identifies those that cite spending/deficit/tax concerns as a reason to oppose most any social spending.  If you look at the records of the vast majority of these self-proclaimed “fiscal conservatives”, you’ll see that they go in – whole hog – for defense spending, farm subsidies, and tax cuts as if they’ve never encountered the idea of responsibility for balancing the books.  There’s no inherent fiscal conservatism there.  It’s simply someone who has latched onto a popular phrase to dishonestly explain away his behavior.

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5 Comments

  1. LFS

    Given the context you give is about the total fantasy of universal healthcare not adding to our national debt (and yes, I realize your source is playing terminology games with “reduce the deficit”), I’d say your panties are all twisted over the wrong issue.

  2. tx2vadem

    Well, it’s not universal health care. CBO also says that it will reduce the deficit. If you don’t trust CBO, who do you trust? And what exactly is wrong with CBO’s analysis of the budgetary impacts of the bills?

  3. LFS

    Again, terminology games. The debt and the deficit are not the same thing.

  4. tx2vadem

    I understand that. But let me clarify; if it’s reducing the deficit, then it is not adding to our national debt.

  5. LFS

    Only if it is reducing the deficit year over year. Moving dollars around before full implementation is a shell game.

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