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....
Let us consider the modern conservative voter: Typically is an older American (55+), higher income/wealth, christian, and white.If that's the case, then what is the point of this thread?
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).
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.It seems to be aimed at trying to proclaim Reagan as something other than conservative, based on what people today claim conservatism is.
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.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.
I am only interested in the slice pertaining to the term fiscal.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 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.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.
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.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.
And I than you as well. In these rare occurrences does this site truly offer members something to look forward to.Though thank you for the well thought out response and good discussion. I know that's a lot of ask for some on here.