Debunking the Myth of the Fiscally Responsible Republican

gwbush-big-spenderThere’s this common misnomer within the Republican party that seems to imply calling yourself “fiscally conservative” means you’re fiscally responsible.

However, Republicans are neither fiscally conservative nor fiscally responsible.

When I hear “fiscally conservative” I think of someone who tends to be very frugal, some might even call cheap.  I know a couple of these people.  They live a very modest lifestyle, drive an older car when they could easily afford a new one, count every penny and the words “I’ve got this tab” have never come out of their mouths.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with these types of people, to each their own, but it’s a lot easier to just save everything than it is to actually spend money on smart purchases.

Now when I hear “fiscally responsible” I think of someone who isn’t afraid to spend money, they’re just responsible with how they spend it.  They might take a nice vacation or buy a fancy new television, they just make sure they get the best deal and value.  I consider myself one of these people.  I have no problem spending money, I just make sure I get the most “bang for my buck.”

But Republicans are neither of these.

While they claim to be “fiscally conservative,” they’re anything but.  Republicans, if I’m wrong, please tell me—who was the last Republican President to actually balance the budget?

You know what, I’ll do it for you.  It was President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  For those who might be historically challenged, he was President over 50 years ago.

Since the dawn of “Trickle Down Economics” and the “fiscally conservative hero” President Reagan, Republican Presidents have left office not only increasing our national debt, but drastically increasing it.

So tell me again, how is that “fiscally conservative?”  Because they want to cut taxes for the rich?  Oh, by the way, cutting taxes does not make someone “fiscally conservative.”  Especially when those tax cuts have led to drastic increases in our deficits, have mainly benefited the rich and have had zero correlation with job creation.

And let’s not forget the trillions Republicans have spent on bloated defense contracts and wars since the 1980’s.

But hey, they’re against funding programs that help the poor, would provide health care for millions of Americans and could drastically improve our education system—that makes them “fiscally conservative,” right?

To spend the money Republicans have over the years on extremely bloated programs such as our national defense, while claiming to be fiscally conservative just because they seek to cut programs that help the poor, would be like an someone saying they’re tackling their massive debt by cutting out Cheerios from their monthly budget.

When faced with an enormous national debt, and an escalating financial crisis, they chose to bail out the very institutions which caused the crisis—then later blamed the national debt on the poor.

They handed over massive tax breaks to the top 2% of Americans, deregulated our financial sector, then when it all fell apart—their answer to fix the mess was blaming people on food stamps and pushing for more tax breaks for the very same people that didn’t create jobs with the tax breaks they were given nearly a decade earlier.

There’s nothing responsible about that.

And here’s a rule: You can’t be the party for “fiscally conservative values” when it’s been over half a century since the last President from your party actually balanced the budget.

So while Republicans might have manipulated their voters into believing that they support the “party for fiscal responsibility,” I’ll challenge any Republican reading this to show me where a Republican President in the last half century has balanced the budget.

And when they can do that, then I’ll be the first one to call Republicans fiscally responsible.

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Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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