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.