Diary

Why it is hard to be a fiscal conservative (plus a spreadsheet)

By request of revivefederalism, I am posting a link to a larger version of my budget spreadsheet.

Like most redstaters, I love all the inside politics, the strategerizing, and the attempts to define conservatism. Even Rinos and blue dogs, for the most part, at least pay lip service to fiscal responsibility and strong defense. So do conservatives. My question is: Are conservatives more serious about balancing the budget, or it all smoke and no fire?

In my previous budget whine posts, I discussed both the lies used to understate the problem and the lies about what might actually cut the deficit. My discussion of the fact that only 15% or so of the budget is even in play is a theme which many conservative commentators have bemoaned. Less than half the deficit would disappear if ALL discretionary spending was eliminated. But the pundits would rather demagogue the earmark issue than get serious about the core problem.

The eggs that must be broken to cook this omelet are the entitlements. We have promised more than can be delivered with our economy growing at even 5% a year. We can’t reduce entitlements without decreasing the pool of entitlees. My only idea is to raise the age of benefit eligibility and/or to unleash our energy resources by eliminating all barriers to development.

I know we all cringe when we hear the progressives talk about deficit reduction. Their only idea is technology that doesn’t exist or economy busting tax increases. WE should cringe even more when we hear conservatives talk about spending reduction without ever actually suggesting serious cuts.

Here is a challenge to all the conservative talkers and politicians. Suggest explicit cuts which could reduce the deficit by half. If you are a true supply-sider, suggest changes to the tax code which will increase annual GDP growth to 10% or more.

Nothing less will do. The Pelosi jetset progressives are a threat to the Republic. But conservative, constitutionalist, gun-toting real Americans have to do more than mouth platitudes about deficits.

We finally have the greens on the defensive. Let’s seize the opportunity to create some energy trillionaires. Let’s keep working until we are 80 or disabled.

But PLEASE no more empty calls to cut the deficit. It is time to put up or shut up!