09 February 2008

Republicans should be more conservative

An acquaintance of mine is a Unitarian feminist, pro-abortion, anti-war, pro-gay marriage, anti-pollution; the paragon liberal. She says Republicans need to become more conservative. She's right.

Her statement is in reference to fiscal responsibility. An old-style fiscal conservative believed, among other things, that the government should not spend more than it takes in. Duh!

Prior to 1980, the United States of America was the #1 creditor nation in the world – i.e. others owed us money. Then came Reaganomics. In eight years we went from being the #1 creditor nation to the #1 debtor nation – i.e. we owed others, big time. We were headed straight for bankruptcy, when our interest on debt would exceed our income. But tax-low-and-spend-high Republicans thought it was just grand.

When Bill Clinton took over, he did the unthinkable: He balanced the budget. He took the nation off its collision course with economic collapse.

Along comes George W. Bush and a Republican-dominated Congress. Now we're right back where we were two decades ago. And Republicans are demanding even more tax cuts.

To cut taxes when the nation is in debt is patently foolish. First make the nation solvent; then worry about where to distribute the surplus wealth.

John McCain was right to oppose Bush's tax cuts. In this, he proved himself more conservative than the Republican right wing. He is wrong now to support making those tax cuts permanent. He knows better.

I can only assume that McCain has changed his tune to appease the party power brokers. That makes me sad. One of the reasons I support McCain is that he refuses to be intimidated. I hope my trust is not misplaced.

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