The Center Of American Politics
Despite what Congress and the current administration would have the people believe, the inconvenient truth is that fiscal conservatives are the dead center of American politics. Amidst accusations of extremism, Americans are responding to a message of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and less taxation. In a recent interview, FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey said this:
“This is the broad center of American politics. Look at the polling data, Right now, the Tea Party polls higher than the Republicans and the Democrats, and it is becoming increasingly clear to the electorate out there and they’re expressing their understanding... we have a Democrat majority in Congress and a President that’s on the liberal fringe, and we are in the center.”
Despite differing messages on various social agendas and battles over the role of government in our everyday lives, most Americans understand the necessity of fiscal responsibility – which is even more apparent in the midst of a struggling economy. As the government battles “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and takes on country-altering legislation in the form of Cap and Trade and the Health Care reform bill, unemployment sky rockets and Congress raises the debt ceiling yet again.
Americans are concerned with jobs. They are concerned with Federal spending. The President’s State of the Union proposal to place a spending freeze on an already swollen base line is not convincing them – only 9% believe that it will reduce the deficit significantly.
Back in October, Gallup published a poll that stated that 40% of Americans identified themselves as conservatives. Just 21% of the population identified as liberal. Conservative is no longer a dirty word to the American people - common sense fiscal policy resonates with a struggling economy.
When families hit tough times, they stop spending. They reign in the budget. The majority of the American people expect the government to do the same. Until Washington begins to show the same fiscal restraint the people are being forced to show, they will continue to see falling approval ratings and they will continue to lose their jobs.
Rep. Clyburn from South Carolina said:
"We're not going to save our way out of this recession.We've got to spend our way out of this recession, and I think most economists know that.”
The problem with this thinking is that you fall into a trap. When, then, is it appropriate to not spend money? When times are bad, we spend our way out. When times are good, it is our moral obligation to spend. The American people aren’t buying it anymore. Sometimes, it’s appropriate to save. To know your limits. Until the government understands theirs, they will continue to bankrupt the economy on the taxpayer dime.