Tuesday, February 15, 2011

three articles on fiscal conservatism: Bunning vindicated; it can be fine (politically) to cut spending; and the GOP's dismal record

A nice editorial in the Paducah Sun (hat tip: C-J) on Senator Bunning's vindication on spending/debt.

It turns out Bunning was ahead of the curve. And after observing how the voters responded, other Republicans and even some Democrats were emboldened to take a similar stand with subsequent spending bills...But he got the last laugh. Now Congress [has many more] Jim Bunnings, fiscal conservatives equally determined to end profligate spending and trillion-dollar deficits. Bunning went from poster child for GOP callousness to taxpayers’ champion. Now he hands off the baton to Rand Paul, 32 years his junior and equally committed to restoring fiscal discipline to Washington. The two have this in common: A year ago, the party elite deemed them both unelectable.

A good article in The Economist on why a recent academic piece-- on why/how cutting spending does not need to be political suicide.

The idea that imposing austerity is political hara-kiri is widely held. But a new paper* by Alberto Alesina of Harvard University, Dorian Carloni of the University of California at Berkeley and Giampaolo Lecce of New York University finds little historical support for it. “The empirical evidence on this point”, the economists write, “is much less clear cut than the conviction with which this conventional wisdom is held.”

And in case you need a reminder, here's Veronique de Rugy in Reason on why the GOP cannot be trusted on fiscal conservatism...

After two years of absolute Democratic power, many voters hope that the Republicans will restore fiscal sanity to Washington. But a look at the GOP’s track record and campaign promises should give us pause. Historically, Republicans have often been worse spenders than Democrats.


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