Monday, September 17, 2007

A real fiscal conservative

Now, readers may know that I am quite disappointed with the Bush administration, first for its kowtowing to the religious right, and second for being real RINOs when it comes to limited government and fiscal conservatism (I know the War on Terror, especially the Iraq war, figures prominently in many critiques, and although it was clearly handled poorly, it is not one of my makes-me-so-angry-I-can't-see-straight issues).*

Seems, I am not alone in my fiscal policy disappointment. In his new memoir Alan Greenspan criticizes the Bush administration on deficits and spending. Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman (for what, 70 years?) and devotee to Ayn Rand's ideas on the glories of capitalism, has a bit of credibility when it comes to economic policies. According to the review in the NY Times,
Mr. Greenspan describes the Bush administration as so captive to its own political operation that it paid little attention to fiscal discipline, and he described Mr. Bush’s first two Treasury secretaries, Paul H. O’Neill and John W. Snow, as essentially powerless.

Mr. Bush, he writes, was never willing to contain spending or veto bills that drove the country into deeper and deeper deficits, as Congress abandoned rules that required that the cost of tax cuts be offset by savings elsewhere. “The Republicans in Congress lost their way,” writes Mr. Greenspan, a self-described “libertarian Republican.”

The bulk of the bulk is devoted to his views on markets, globalization and the American economy. I will be excited to read it.

*In fact, one could (and many, including me, do) argue that the abandonment of the limited government and fiscally responsible principles that Republicans still pay lip service to (sometimes) is what led to the dominance of the religious right within the party--a classic example of selling out.


jonathan said...

I don't know about your last paragraph. Barry Goldwater was a fiscal conservative, but was socially "liberal" on most issues. He was resoundingly defeated in his run for president.

Reagan was fiscally conservative on most issues, but was also socially "conservative" on every issue with the exception of the death penalty. He received two mandate elections.

Your point about Bush: aside from the tax cuts early in his administration I, too, have been thoroughly disappointed by his domestic policy and the rampant "cronyism" within his administration (e.g., Harriet Myers, Alberto Gonzales, and all the other idiots he brought with him from Texas) (FYI: I'm from Texas) (Dammit!! Now you've got me using parentheses, too!)

Bush is far too much like his father, the original RINO.

Icon said...

(God, I love Goggle! I no longer have to ask to be clued-in on things like RINO.)