Monday, August 03, 2015

Fiscally Conservative And Socially Liberal

I just read this article, posted as a link on Facebook (where else do we get our news from these days?), and it struck a nerve.  Here's the article:  7 ideas completely lost on people who are “fiscally conservative but socially liberal”.

In my profile to the right I've listed some of my qualities, and among them is "Fiscally conservative and politically liberal".  Needless to say I was curious enough about the article to read it, and here's what I think:  The term "fiscally conservative" does not mean I think people should live in poverty.  I do NOT.  I support raising the minimum wage to be a LIVING wage.  I think the tax code should be overhauled, and that the richest of us should pay at LEAST - preferably more - the same tax rate as the poorest of us, without loopholes and off-shore hideaways.  I think everyone is entitled to healthcare.  And childcare.  And a decent education.  Free college works in other countries, why not here?  How can you get any job without a basic education?  

I could go on and on, discussing all seven points at length, but maybe I should just tell you what economic conservatism means to me.  It means not spending more than you have, either as an individual or as a government.  It means having priorities.  It means we take care of those who need it, and don't give handouts (or tax breaks) to those who don't.  It means churches should pay their fair share of taxes, and most churches should do a LOT more regarding feeding and housing the poor, instead of buying their televangelist preacher a new jet, or a vacation getaway, which would really help take the strain off the government-funded social services.  

Being fiscally responsible means not funding 'bridges to nowhere', or hiding special projects behind important legislation.  It means not building equipment the military does not want or need, but it DOES mean keeping our infrastructure in good repair.  Being fiscally responsible means that everyone should have the ability to earn a decent living without worrying there is no safety net.  We, as a society should make sure that the poorest among us have a fighting chance, and as we all know, that takes money.  Let's spend OUR money wisely.  Let's invest in our future by educating our children, making sure they go to school well-fed and well-rested, not hungry and sleep-deprived.  Let's decide to make our standard of living for ALL Americans one that is the envy of the rest of the world, not one that's an embarrassment.  


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