View Poll Results: Was Reagan a fiscal-small government conservative?

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Thread: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

  1. #91
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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    First, let me make this clear. Unlike some of the more radical libertarians on this board I live in a world that is not black and white. One is not Fiscal Conservative or not based on a single check box and if its ticked or not determines if they are fiscal conservative or not fiscal conservative, as if "0%" and "100% is the only measurements present.
    Of course the world is not black or white, and i do not pull myself in that regard. However, we have to clearly define the term in question: fiscal conservatism.

    What is it? When i think of the term, i automatically conjure the term Fiscal policy; or government spending and its net effect (be it on the economy, taxation, etc....). Going back to the topic; can we use dichotomy to infer there is a difference between a liberal fiscal policy and a conservative fiscal policy? I certainly hope so even though (as you pointed out) there can be variations of the two.

    What can be considered a conservative fiscal policy? There are some here that view such a notion to pertain to lower taxes. Doing so leaves out a critical aspect of any fiscal situation: taxation only pertains to the revenue aspect and therefore we are leaving out 50% of the act known as expenditure (spending). Does spending play a role in fiscal policy? If so, to what length? Even though it is popular on the right to support military spending, it is openly dishonest to claim one is fiscally conservative on the basis of tax cuts alone. Yes Reagan did have a hand in slicing entitlements, however the net effect was a negative one as total government spending did increase every year under his watch.

    How can this be considered fiscally conservative? Adding debt will surely cause increased spending down the line (somewhere). Is it fiscally conservative to actively pass the buck?

    [quote]Second, lets play with your premise. You're seemingly suggesting then that the entire definition of what modern conservatism is changed, or morphed, or perhaps we can say evolved with the introduction of Reagan onto the national stage. Lets take that premise....

    If that's the case, then what is the point of this thread?
    Let us consider the modern conservative voter: Typically is an older American (55+), higher income/wealth, christian, and white.

    If you were of that demographic, would you truly care about deficits (medicare/cost of Iraq war)? I know you would want lower taxes, and be appalled at various rights given to those who live outside of the christian value system.

    It seems to me that the republicans - those who were the party of traditional conservative values - abandoned fiscal conservatism in a last ditch effort to stay relevant. The modern republican philosophy since Reagan has been high government spending, low taxes, and a general embrace of military Keynesianism. Of course the social aspects have accompanied them to maintain the christian right; but (IMHO) fiscal conservatism is gone. The last executive to embrace such a policy was?????? By my definition, it would be the president who under their term we witnessed the deficit to GDP ratio stay constant (even though a more pure form would involve lower taxation and lower spending).


    It seems to be aimed at trying to proclaim Reagan as something other than conservative, based on what people today claim conservatism is.
    Not at all, i am just interested in the fiscal aspect. The social equivalence is of zero interest to me or the question being polled.

    That people are "reinventing" Reagan's legacy to fit into the modern definition of conservatism. If what you say is true, that what is defined by the majority of conservatives in the modern day is essentially "Reagan Conservativism", then arguing that he is not a fiscal or governmental conservative by the modern definition seems completely asinine and is still incorrect.
    But that is not my point or intention. If anything i am arguing the exact opposite. Fiscal conservatism was abandoned by Reagan, and those who identify themselves as "modern conservatives" (could we consider the term neo-con?) take little interest in he fiscal aspect; just as long as taxes are lowered.

    Not to mention that both ideologies today have significant variations of where they were 30 years ago, which had significant variations from where they were 30 years prior to that, and onwards.
    I am only interested in the slice pertaining to the term fiscal.

    This all goes beyond the fact that I still think from your posts here and elsewhere that you take an extremely libertarian view of fiscal conservatism, ie an extreme take on it, and is much akin to the Religion Right telling people that someone isn't "social conservative" simply because they don't live up to the extreme that their version of the ideology holds for Social Conservatism.
    I really do not believe you can consider my "take" as extreme. IMHO, a fiscally conservative president does not increase taxes during a recession, and does not allow for deficits during a major economic expansion. If you call that extreme, by all means do explain.

    I'm an not in any way trying to suggest that Reagan was necessarily a great fiscal conservative by any definition, nor that he was a good one based on the classical definition. However I think it is a ridiculous notion to flat out state, unequivocally, that he is not fiscally conservative in either the classical or the modern sense. A weak one? Perhaps? Maybe a moderate one. But to whole sale say he was not one just does not add up in any of the ways I can read it save for looking at it in a purely black and white world view, of which I think is a highly unrealistic and flawed way to view such things.
    We may argue opinions but i think we should give some weight to the data: Under the Reagan administration both the deficit and government spending as a % of GDP had increased by the time he left office.

    Though thank you for the well thought out response and good discussion. I know that's a lot of ask for some on here.
    And I than you as well. In these rare occurrences does this site truly offer members something to look forward to.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    so you have proven you are unable to identify specific cuts which need to be made to effect the savings you insist can be found

    the politicians can do no better
    Yep, typical that you want me to do the work for you. It is obvious to me that you have never gone to the U.S. Treasury site to get the line items. If I told you what to keep doesn't it logically make sense that you would cut everything else?

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative View Post
    Yep, typical that you want me to do the work for you. It is obvious to me that you have never gone to the U.S. Treasury site to get the line items. If I told you what to keep doesn't it logically make sense that you would cut everything else?
    i've illustrated my point by flushing out your inability to identify those specific government expenditures which you would tell us deserve to be cut

    but you can't identify them with any specificity - and they then remain nameless

    which is not unlike those politicians on the right who insist there are savings to be attained but who can't identify exactly what they are

    thanks again for proving my point
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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    i've illustrated my point by flushing out your inability to identify those specific government expenditures which you would tell us deserve to be cut

    but you can't identify them with any specificity - and they then remain nameless

    which is not unlike those politicians on the right who insist there are savings to be attained but who can't identify exactly what they are

    thanks again for proving my point
    What part of eliminating all the line items of the budget other than Defense, the VA, and interest on the Debt do you not understand?

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Is this supposed to be some sort of indictment on President Reagan? Because all it shows is that given our system of government, no President can successfully run an ideologically driven administration.

    The system creates moderation. The more an administration strives to lead from the extremes, the more it will fail.

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telecaster View Post
    Is this supposed to be some sort of indictment on President Reagan? Because all it shows is that given our system of government, no President can successfully run an ideologically driven administration.

    The system creates moderation. The more an administration strives to lead from the extremes, the more it will fail.
    Reagan only failed in the eyes of those that demand more dependence on the Federal Govt. Reagan tax cuts empowered people and unleased an entreprenuerial spirit that made personal wealth creation fathomable again. Reagan also unleashed the American spirit again and it reignited the passion of Americans again after the Carter malaise.

    Personally I never did better during my 35 years in the business world than I did during the Reagan years and I slept well at night knowing this country was secure.

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    Since when was the military not part of the government?

    "Reagan's Liberal Legacy" by Joshua Green

    According to this:

    AEI - Papers

    Reagan's net cuts are chump change compared to other presidents.
    What nonsense. No one associates small government conservatism with a weak military.

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Wow, this thread is a bunch of crap.

    Reagan spent a bunch on the military because we were in the Cold War. The only reason there were deficits is because the Congress would not accommodate Reagan's budget requests. Yea, so blame Reagan for doing what was necessary to defend the country...

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    What nonsense. No one associates small government conservatism with a weak military.
    Does a fiscal conservative pay for their spending? Or do they simply pass the buck to another generation and force them to make decisions based on the actions of a previous generation?

    I do not believe we had a weak military prior to Reagan. Of course this is just my opinion you have to be careful, as people are touchy about it
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    Wow, this thread is a bunch of crap.

    Reagan spent a bunch on the military because we were in the Cold War. The only reason there were deficits is because the Congress would not accommodate Reagan's budget requests. Yea, so blame Reagan for doing what was necessary to defend the country...
    That is what liberals do, place blame and never accept responsibility. A true liberal lives for today and ignores the consequences of not being proactive. We had a peace dividend because of Reagan and we had 9/11 because Clinton wasn't proactive against terrorism.

    Reagan drives liberals crazy as evidenced by the reality that we are over 20 years after he left office and most of those demonizing Reagan weren't around during his term or weren't old enough to know what the economy and world conditions were like during that period.

    Like most liberals they truly blame this country for every ill and hated Reagan based upon what they read in textbooks or leftwing websites but ignore all the good that he did. It is easier placing blame vs. actually getting the facts and doing research as to the results Reagan generated.

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