Reagan brilliantly evoked the conservative coalition with his analogy to a three-legged stool. Fiscal conservatavism, social conservatavism and strong national defense together make the Republican party. While this image suggests equality, it is clear that at different times different legs have taken precedence. The fierce urgency of now demands that we recognize the ascension of the fiscal conservative leg. Our country’s future depends on it.
We have relied on the other legs in the recent past. George Bush was largely elected on the backs of social and national security conservatives. The results of that presidency reflect that fact. Those of us who care about the fiscal well-being of our country are well advised to consider the following picture of the true deficits of the past 30 years. This graph depicts the increase in our debt from one year to the next. This, not the artificial deficit which includes only that spending which was ‘budgeted’, is the true measure of our fiscal discipline. Be forewarned, it does no credit to the Republican party.
The inclusion of the coming two years of projections is no mistake. While we rightly dwell on the mistakes of the past, it is our present that demands urgency. There is one truly commendable aspect of the Obama administration, it offers a true account of our spending. However, honest presentation does not absolve dire consequence. Trillions of dollars of debt added each year is a burden we cannot bear.
It is our time, fiscal conservatives, and this is the place. The fiscal future of our country is no longer an academic argument. It is the most pressing issue facing the country, and the public agrees. If you are a party man I offer you clear advice: join us. This is what the people care about, and this is how we win.
It is easy to exhort; it is difficult to forge a new way. The message of fiscal conservativism is one that is often lost amidst the personal stories used to motivate government spending. The people of this country support us, but they do not remember us when it counts. Even those who do, they must ask: what candidate/party is for fiscal discipline? There is nothing in the recent past suggesting Republicans.
The simplest appellation currently existing for this cause is Pay-Go. The Redstate reader is probably aware this is used as a slogan by Blue Dog Democrats. While easy to remember, and catchy on the tongue, it is both not enough, and not respected by those who profess it. We must do better AND be as memorable.
This year, the federal government will spend less than last year.
Index it to inflation, exempt military spending. Those modifications are both reasonable and acceptable. But, Pay-Less each and every year.
The American people are not stupid. They have lived through the recent past. The Republican party was not the party of fiscal discipline. Cutting taxes is easy, and that snake oil has been sold past its expiration date. Pay-Less. Live the ideals of less government, live the ideals of fiscal conservativism. Demand this of our candidates and preserve this country for our children.