Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The 'Fiscal Conservative' myth debunked

You've perhaps often read (and certainly heard) that Republicans, the Teabaggers and some, ahem, 'independents', all claim to be "fiscal conservatives".

This claim, and their ethos, is predicated on tax cuts (which, ironically results in the gov't generating less tax revenue for spending on the programmes to which they're committed), a reduction in said gov't spending (see previous point), and generally sees them protesting, rather vocally, when any suggestion is made other than the above two chief 'demands'.

You can see why gov't spending could be an issue, certainly if it gets out of control - as without the tax revenues to ensure the provision of it commitments (social services, Medicare, wars etc.) it then runs up a deficit - and 'fiscal conservatives' are avowedly against deficits!

With me so far? OK.

Then, and with no small irony, Reuters have just gone and pissed on the chips of, and given the lie to, these so-called fiscal conservatives, with the following deficit graph. You'll note that Clinton, a Democrat president, actually cleared the deficit and then operated at a not insubstantial surplus, whilst every other recent Republican president grew enormous deficits - most notably Reagan and both Bushs.

And yet, even with this being the case, Republicans, Teabaggers and 'independents' still vote for what they, incorrectly, perceive to be the party of 'fiscal conservatism', the Republicans/GOP?! 

I guess you can lead a horse to water....



  1. Blimey, that is one interesting graph ... and a graph that should be trotted out more often. That would shut 'em up!

  2. I think folks that identify as fiscal conservatives typically mean that they are pro business. The question raised about  deficits as it relates to presidents assumes , what I believe to be one of the fundemental misnomers in American politics, that being that the president controls the economy. Other things factor in, most often world events that are unforseen and if this were strictly a partisan issue then congress should be taken into account. Generally when you hear the term "Fiscal Conservative" what a person means is that they want an environment that is pro growth with little government regulation in the business world. Where the fiscal conservatives and the Social conservatives tend to part ways usually relates to this "Family values" stuff . We see "liberals" and "conservatives" regulating in one way or another how individuals should live their lives- this is the form of Government intrusion that fiscal conservatives tend to be most opposed to. Deficits are a part of the issue , but not always a decing part. if you get my drift..~CY

  3. At last, some truth! The graph tells it all, doesn't it?

  4. Cosmic Navel Lint14 April 2010 at 02:44

    Thanks for the re-Tweet, Billy!

    Kinda curious as to why, you being an uber-conservative, but thanks any way! :)

  5. Cosmic Navel Lint14 April 2010 at 03:34

    <span>Not sure how the fiscal conservatives will react to this news...?</span>

    <span>New State-by-State Figures Show that Obama Cut Taxes in 2009 for 98 Percent of Working Americans</span>

  6. I think it's more relevant to look at the overall trend of deficits since the US dollar, and world reserve currency went completely fiat.  Greenspan himself has stated that his actions under the Clinton years were reckless and created a bubble that popped later.  You'll see that without that one data point, you have a more representative model of what to expect moving forward from either party.


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