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Monday, August 20, 2012

Republicans As The Party of Fiscal Responsibility

I was reasonably conservative for many years.  My reasoning probably sounded a lot like the Republican Party line nowadays -- that giving people government handouts saps their incentives to do work, and anyone who is willing to work hard can get a job and can get ahead in today's America.  I still feel pretty much the same way.  But it is no longer a particular meaningful point in the question of which party to support.  Both parties have come to agree with me, and both parties have worked to reform welfare and make living on the dole less attractive (it actually was fairly attractive in the mid-1990s, back when I was representing indigent people in court).

But the Republicans seem to still be loudly proclaiming this basic point -- that they are the party of fiscal responsibility, and their program will include forcing more people to fend for themselves.  That's fine for some, although now that welfare has been reformed, it's not quite such a big issue for me.

What bugs me is that it is this kind of rhetoric that enables Republicans to claim that they are the party of fiscal responsibility.  But they just aren't.  Most obviously, look at both Reagan and George W. Bush.  They both ran up deficits by cutting taxes and spending money on defense.  And their Republican cronies supported them 100 percent of the way.  

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