The Gauntlet.

Friday, December 4th, 2009 @ 1:53 am | Clueless Conservatives, Economy

Hey, fiscal conservatives…how many of these can you get behind?

I counted nine, and could imagine many more methods along those lines (e.g. end Drug War). Of course, I’m a liberal therefore I cannot be fiscally responsible. The teabaggers would quarrel with just about every one of those budget control ideas, but they’re conservative therefore they cannot be fiscally irresponsible.

Anybody who can score higher than five, however, may have a leg to stand on…


7 Responses to “The Gauntlet.”

  1. Jldmeyer Says:

    The only problem being that we may stand behind nine, and speak about those nine to our peoples, but the lobbyists in every single one of those areas buying our new house, car, and donating money for a library in our name all say we have to vote no on those things. You don’t have to be a Democrat or Republican to accept that new houseboat. Pres. Obama may have banned them from serving in his administration and now from government advisory boards but it doesn’t keep them out of congress.

  2. AJKamper Says:

    I’m more a fiscal moderate than a true conservative, but listen: Since when is someone not a fiscal conservative because they don’t want to raise taxes? Five of those are some variant of raising taxes, either directly or by eliminating deductions. A fiscal conservative is almost by definition someone who believes that money is best left in the hands of the people, not the government. It’s not even remotely fair to kill them for being fiscally irresponsible when they reject raising revenue as a system that helps the economy–they’d reply that it’s fiscally irresponsible to respond to obesity–that is, government overspending–not by going on a diet but by buying bigger clothes. And they’ve got a point.

    As for the others, you’ll find varying support among budget hawks. I don’t know enough about #1 to comment. #3 _does_ get support among the sorts of conservatives that don’t get much money from them. #4 is obviously a funny sticking point among conservatives… point scored there. #5 isn’t a particularly liberal or conservative issue. And #7 is more a question of efficacy to conservatives–the belief it won’t work.

    From the progressive standpoint, these are mostly pretty good ideas, of course (though the economic repercussions of a gas tax hike may be pretty significant, and I’m not convinced that encouraging home ownership is such a bad thing). But conservatives don’t think most of them will work, and that’s legitimate.

  3. jeromy Says:

    I disagree on your definition of a fiscal conservative. A fiscal conservative also understands that things must be paid for and seeks to avoid putting them on the national credit card. Your clothes analogy is too loose. I could easily say that if you continue to gain weight but refuse to buy new clothes, you’ll tear them and look like an absurd ass.

  4. Dana Says:

    We are already raising the retirement age (just a little), and we have been increasing the maximum income leves subject to the payroll tax, so number 10 is already public policy.

    Actually, I don’t have a problem with number 9 either: it is the subsidization of the better-off — people who can buy their homes — by the less well off.

    Number 7, no: the government should not be in the business of telling doctors and hospitals how to practice medicine.

    Number 6, if we are going to let the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire, then they should all expire. If I should have to pay higher taxes, than Jeromy with his 5¢ bank account should have to pay higher taxes. The estate tax should be completely eliminated: people work hard for what they have, and the idea that the government should seize part of it when they die, to steal it from their heirs, ir repugnant.

    Number 5: Space exploration is something I’ve always favored, and will always favor.

    Number 4: Fine, but face facts, it isn’t the military who don’t want certain things, but the civilian leadership.

    Number 3: Agricultural subsidies should be cut period, not just those to wealthier farmers.

    Number 2: I do hope you realize that this would raise the cost of everything. Congress will never raise the gas tax without raising taxes on diesel as well — the federal excise tax on diesel fuel is already higher than that on gasoline — and virtually everything you buy was shipped at some point — often many points — by rail or truck, and they use diesel fuel. You are thinking of this as a way to reduce individual driving, but it is a proposal to increase the cost of everything; it will make Americans poorer.

    Number 1: The idea that the government should tax or cap greenhouse gas emissions is just plain stupid. Just like an increase in the diesel tax, such fees would simply be passed on to the end consumer, like every other tax. This will make Americans poorer.

    But the biggest problem with increasing taxes is that the Congress will turn right around and increase spending. Something I’d like to see is a return to real federalism, where the federal government simply doesn’t either fund or get involved in what should be state and local projects. The biggest myth in American politics today is that 43 states have balanced budget requirements. Yeah, technically they do, but what they really do is appropriate well beyond state tax revenues, and appropriate based on anticipated federal grants and revenue sharing; the states, in effect, pass on their budget deficits to the federal government, which has no balanced budget requirement.

    If we did that, then state legislators, who are closer to the public and (usually) more vulnerable than congressmen, will have to take the hard decisions to either raise taxes or cut spending.

  5. Dana Says:

    Oops, omitted number 8. Now, why would you want to do that? You are going to support whatever health care plan comes out of the Congress, and whatever plan emerges will be based on the existing private insurance system. If employees are now subject to the tax you have proposed, then, as with several other proposals in the list of ten, you will make the American people poorer.

  6. DesMoinesGuy Says:

    They should raise the retirement age. People are living healthier longer.

    Note to Baby Boomers: We can’t afford you!

  7. Zach Says:

    “Note to Baby Boomers: We can’t afford you!”

    Actually, we could afford the Baby Boomers if the Social Security fund wasn’t raided constantly as Washington’s piggybank of choice.