Jefferson's democracy

Franklin Jefferson's thoughts on the world

Monday, October 16, 2006

Interesting essay on "Common Conservatism"

Interesting essay on "Common Conservatism"

A lot I agree with, but I have to object to:
"Though the economy is the best that it’s been since the late 90s, it still remains the most underreported story of the last five years."

...well, to be brutally specific, the economy is the best it's been since the end of Clinton's term. That when the budget was running a surplus, and George Bush said he would take that surplus and "put it in a lock box."

"...Budget deficit lower than expected ($111 billion less)?"

I don't see how this is anything to crow about. "We're spending the country into trillions of dollars of debt, but we're not spending it quite as fast as we expected last year, so we will call that a gain!" I mean, even if you ignore the debt accounting that's so fuzzy that it's basically a con game, it's hard to see how "our budget deficit is 'only' a quarter of a trillion dollars" is "fiscal conservatism".

I have to say, thought, that I'm no longer even sure that “vote GOP, because the alternative is even worse than we are" even works for me any more. I've lost track of why the Repubicans call themselves conservatives-- they seem to have abandoned all the principles that I would call the core of conservatism, and have turned into the party that spends tax money like a kid in a candy store.

I'm still chewing on the fact that a Democrat president can balance the budget and even make a surplus, but a Republican president, with a Republican congress, can't. Who are these people, and what did they do with the actual Republicans?

(to be fair, though, I have to admit being more of a libertarian than a conservative. For while, during the Reagan revolution, there wasn't much difference, but that's no longer true; the younger Bush doesn't seem to have any interest in libertarian principles-- or liberty, for that matter.)


Blogger Johnny Dark said...

Reagan?? Look, don't call Reagan the budgetary savior of the Unitificated States of America-- he's the guy who originally raised the debt through the roof in the first place. Reagan (and Bush the first) didn't even attempt to do anything like "balance the checkbook"-- Reagan's economic policy (called 'voodoo economics' at the time) were to cut taxes and increase spending, and that's the main reason we're in the fix we're in now.
Paying interest on the national debt is right now the single largest item in the us budget-- and you can thank Mr. Reagan and Mr. Bush for that.

10/22/2006 9:13 AM  
Blogger Franklin Jefferson said...

I think you're being a little unfair. One of Reagan's goals, and this was explicitly a campaign promise, was to build up the military to keep America strong. To the extent that he didn't "balance the checkbook," this is because he promised to not short-shift the military, and he made good on that promise-- at the end of the Reagan era, our defence was strong and modern (although Bush did cut back a bit). The result was the fall of the Soviet Union, which is, I think, a benefit even you would agree to?
And the tax cuts demonstrably helped the economy.
So Reagan wasn't as bad as you seem to think.

10/22/2006 9:21 AM  

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