Sunday, March 13, 2005

Fiscal Brinkmanship

Yep, that's what they call it. This is the conservative policy of cutting taxes when times are good and cutting programs when times are bad. Notice that programs are never increased, nor are taxes. I'm not sure why that's considered good. It seems to me that at some point there'd be no government left. Some might think that's a good thing, but anarchy doesn't really have much appeal to me. The other problem, though, is what has happened in Wisconsin. Fiscal Brinkmanship has put the state on the brink of financial collapse. The recession of the early 90's barely affected Wisconsin, but after about ten years of Fiscal Brinkmanship under the watchful eye of Gov. Tommy Thompson (now of the Bush cabinet), the state has suffered more during the recession of the last few years than almost any other state. The problem? Certain programs will always be considered sacred cows. Their funding doesn't get cut. That means that other programs must be cut in order to justify not raising taxes. Wisconsin has found itself with more debt than ever, and no way to get out of it due to their continued focus on Fiscal Brinkmanship.

It's not like the feds have faired much better, though. Bush's untimely tax cut (even followers of Fiscal Brinkmanship wouldn't cut taxes when the economy is suffering!) has led to the creation of more debt under four years of Bush than Clinton created in eight full years. I know Republicans are considered the better party for the economy, but it doesn't seem that the reality lives up to the reputation. There are lots of other issues, but on this one, I'm disappointed with the conservative ideology.