Has Vince Gray missed the point?
Words mean what we say they mean
I've written about how conservatives seem to worry a lot about the deficit when a Democrat is in the White House and the rest of the time not so much.
This dates back to the 1980's, when President Reagan decided to “cut the allowance” of government by cutting taxes. He forgot to confiscate the credit card while he was at it. Another prominent Republican of the era (I think it was Jack Kemp), explained that he was tired of “conservative” meaning “balance the budget,” which was tedious and unsexy and never very popular, either. There was fun and glamour and action in cutting taxes, and the GOP wanted in.
I empathized. Who wants to be the guy with the green visor? It's just that there were a few problems. First was that the “cutting off the allowance” gambit didn't work. Deficits exploded. Second was it wasn't actually “conservative.” Who said being conservative was SUPPOSED to be fun and popular? If you actually believe something, that's how you act, right?
RIGHT? Reducing deficits then became work that liberals had to do. Thank you, President Clinton. THAT part of the strategy was successful. And fair enough, you might say.
But the third problem is that conservatives had already pulled this gambit once before. They'd already used their Get Out of Jail Free Card. On the environment. “Conserving” resources such as air quality, water quality and oh, species, was just too dreary for conservatives to trouble themselves with, when squandering was so much more fun. Squander. Conservative. Interesting pair. --Tom Toles
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