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The Party of Fiscal Responsibility

The GOP a.k.a. Republicans are lying about being “small government” and “fiscally responsible”.

“Fiscal” means related to managing a country’s financial resources.

The GOP is the party of enriching the ultra-rich at the expense of the working poor and even the middle class (and while, contrary to the “working class MAGA” popular perception, GOP-voting households average higher income than supposedly “elite” Democrat voting households, the difference is only around 15% meaning that these families are getting just as exploited by the lobbyists and PACs).

So how do they get the public to vote for self-harming rich-gets-richer policies?

Historically, there have been three ways.

One is the culture war. Vote for us and we’ll protect you from Islam and confusing gender stuff. From having to learn about evolution and climate change. From crime.

The second is to sell the dream. “Sure, our policies only benefit the rich. But what if you become rich one day? Wouldn’t that be nice?”

The third is a li’l bit more nebulous and mathy and it’s in one sense the most honest and in another sense the most dishonest. It’s honest in that it actually reflects their ideology: low taxes—and to sell the idea of low taxes, they present positive virtues like “small government”, “moderation”, “fiscal responsibility”, “frugality”, “restraint”, “thriftiness”, “living within one’s means”. It’s dishonest in that they find plenty of other ways to exploit the public: subsidies, debt, deficit, plundering the Earth, cheap labor. It’s additionally dishonest in that they aren’t frugal at all. They expand government AF, spend a ton, make government more intrusive than ever. PATRIOT act, Roe repeal, bathroom bills, border walls, subsidized fossils…

The GOP has historically been pretty good at presenting these three selling points, so much so that some people have found themselves torn. These voters see themselves as socially liberal on culture war issues but buying into the idea of “fiscal responsibility”, holding their noses so they can vote republican “for the taxes” even though they disagree on culture.

For example, here’s Bruce Willis in 2006:

I’m sick of answering this fucking question. I’m a Republican only as far as I want a smaller government, I want less government intrusion. I want them to stop shitting on my money and your money and tax dollars that we give 50 percent of every year. I want them to be fiscally responsible and I want these goddamn lobbyists out of Washington. Do that and I’ll say I’m a Republican. I hate the government, OK? I’m apolitical. Write that down. I’m not a Republican.

I’ve got good news for anyone who feels that way: You don’t have to vote Republican anymore.

Truth is that whenever the GOP has been in power, they’ve expanded the government, spent more, and racked up the budget deficit.

The opposite of mindful spending.

All that said, I’m pretty late to the party on this and current-day GOP have more-or-less dropped the pretense on this and are now focusing pretty much only on the social issues. All the more reason for you to drop ‘em.♥