As I was driving home from dance last week, I happened to be listening to an NPR panel show. The conservative member of the panel made an offhand, very dismissive remark about "pro-tax groups like the Concord Coalition". And I hit the roof.
I mean, WTF? Mind, I was one of the founding members of the Concord Coalition when it started, so I'm a tad biased, but the remark to me just underlines the philosophical backruptcy of the modern conservative movement. Because the Coalition isn't "pro-tax", it's pro-*responsibility*. The entire point of the Coalition is that the country needs to balance its budget: that you can't keep running massive deficits without building up disaster in the long term. It's actually fairly neutral on whether this means raising taxes or lowering the budget: the main point is that the country needs to make some hard choices, rather than sticking its fingers in its ears and going, "La, la, la, I can't hear you so there isn't a problem, and -- ooh, donuts".
But no: the conservatives somehow seem to believe that they can have their cake an eat it too -- that they can cut taxes, keep on spending outrageous amounts, and pretend that nothing bad will happen. Yes, they talk a good line about cutting spending, but it's rubbish: in six years of more or less absolute Republican control of Congress, they only made the problem worse. The Democrats may be altogether too damned fond of spending, but at least they believe in paying for what they spend -- the Republicans pretend that they can cut taxes without any pain on the spending side. Almost 30 years after Reagan was elected, that has gone from willful blindness to outright lying. They've proven that cutting taxes does *not* necessarily lead to lowered spending (the original Reaganite claim) -- it usually just leads to higher deficits.
Of all the things that disgust me about the modern Republican party, this is one of the worst. I can deal with genuine philosophical differences even while I disagree. But this has moved into territory that I consider rank hypocrisy and irresponsibility...