fiscal con

The Fiscal Con: fiscal conservatives, libertarians shift blame on problems they helped create

Many leading fiscal conservatives and libertarians attempt to shift blame on problems that they helped create. They attempt to use problems the U.S. faces to push one part of their agenda, while ignoring how another part of their agenda helped cause those problems in the first place.

For instance, many fiscal conservative leaders (albeit not many libertarians) supported the Iraq War, which will end up costing the U.S. somewhere between 1 and 3 trillion dollars. Those fiscal conservative leaders (such as Mitch Daniels) complain about massive government spending, without acknowledging the role they played in running up the debt.

Another example comes from a series of articles that those in the fiscal conservative/libertarian/"Profits at Any Price" camp have written about the problems that California faces. They whine about massive spending, as if all the costs California faces just fell from the sky one day. Actually, they didn't: many of the costs that California faces can be traced back to one source: massive low-skilled immigration.

The fiscal conservative types tend to ignore that source because they tend to support massive low-skilled immigration. Their policies helped set the stage for massive spending. Now, they're blaming the victims of their policies.

Massive low-skilled immigration hasn't just increased social welfare spending in California. It's also given more power to the free-spending far-left and even the Mexican government inside California. The far-left uses their increased power to push for more spending. Massive immigration has also led to more spending on schools, teachers, and civil servants. Fiscal conservatives tend to whine about civil servant pensions, without revealing that without massive immigration there wouldn't be such a demand for civil servants in the first place.

Massive immigration has also reduced the quality of life in especially Southern California, leading to many in the middle-class fleeing the state. Even Dan Walters has acknowledged that California is becoming a two-tier society: a small number of rich people, a very large number of poor people, and few in the middle class.

Libertarians, fiscal cons, and others in the Profits at Any Price club have all helped bring California to its current state through their loose borders policies. Take action: use the Question Authority plan to discredit them by asking tough questions on video at their public appearances.

Last modified May 21, 2011
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Why Conn Carroll has no credibility ("California in Crisis", illegal immigration) - 02/26/13

For over two years I've been collecting posts by supposed conservatives who complain about the problems California faces but ignore the key issue facing the state: massive illegal immigration. See Fiscal Con for several examples. However, so far none of those "conservatives" have been bold enough to admit that they weren't going to discuss immigration: they just ignored it completely. That is, until now.

How can "conservatives" help California if they support or ignore the root cause? (Conn Carroll) - 11/19/12

Here's yet another entry for the Fiscal Con page (see the link for an explanation and past examples). This one comes from Conn Carroll in the Washington Examiner ("Can conservatives prevent the U.S. from becoming California?", link):

Walter Russell Mead blames the victims of globalization, mass immigration (California, The American Interest, Kotkin) - 07/15/12

For a while I've been tracking the "Fiscal Con": examples of fiscal conservatives deflecting blame from the impacts of the policies they support or ignore. Now, Walter Russell Meade ("WRM") offers what might be called the "Global Con". From '"Green" Energy Bias Killing California' [1]:

Hot Air readers, Erika Johnsen turn their backs on millions of Americans in California ("anti-Arizona" immigration bill) - 07/06/12

The California state senate recently passed a bill called the TRUST Act which seeks to prevent localities from contacting the Department of Homeland Security about all but the most dangerous illegal aliens.

What City Journal doesn't want you to see (Troy Senik, "Worst Union", California, immigration) - 06/14/12

Former George W Bush speechwriter Troy Senik [1] and the Manhattan Institute publication City Journal don't want you to see the following comment.

Erika Johnsen of Townhall/Hotair ignores immigration impact on California - 05/03/12

Just three days ago I wrote about J.E. Dyer of ignoring immigration's impact on California. They've done it yet again, with Erika Johnsen of Townhall (they and HotAir share a parent company) offering "Go west, young man, go west! …Unless you're into being successful" (link).

HotAir ignores mass immigration's impact on California (J.E. Dyer) - 04/30/12

In a HotAir "Greenroom" post ("California by the numbers", link) that was promoted to their front page, J.E. Dyer engages in the Fiscal Con. As described at that link, that consists of fiscal conservatives ignoring their role in the problems they whine about and using those problems to push another part of their agenda.

Joel Kotkin, Allysia Finley grossly mislead yet again ("The Great California Exodus", Wall Street Journal) - 04/21/12

Allysia Finley offers "The Great California Exodus" (link) in which she and Chapman University urban studies professor Joel Kotkin grossly mislead about the problems that state faces.

Teaparty Nation: break California, Illinois into smaller states (Judson Phillips) - 01/09/12

The latest example of a harebrained, anti- and un-American idea from the Tea Parties comes via email from Judson Phillips of the Teaparty Nation group: ...Illinois and California are poised to become America’s Greece. Both have out of control spending problems. They have raised taxes and regulations to the point where businesses and the wealthy are fleeing those states as fast as they can. ...We need to break up both California and Illinois into smaller states.

Carly Fiorina misleads: ignores immigration role in California problems (NRSC vice chair, "job creators") - 07/13/11

Former California senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina is the new vice chairwoman of the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee). She also becomes just the latest fiscal conservative to mislead people using the "Fiscal Con" (see the link).

Amity Shlaes dares not tell you a major cause of high teen unemployment (Glenn Reynolds) - 07/04/11

Amity Shlaes is a Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow and writes a column for Bloomberg News. As such, acknowledging that massive low-skilled immigration just might be a major cause of massive teen unemployment is something that she dare not do lest she be drummed out of the establishment.

Wall Street Journal, Ed Morrissey ignore immigration impact on teen unemployment - 07/01/11

The Wall Street Journal posts [1] and Ed Morrissey of HotAir hypes [2] an editorial blaming the minimum wage for very high teen unemployment (see this).

George Will misleads about a root cause of California problems - 05/21/11

Fiscal conservatives and libertarians have a cruel trick they like to play on the people of California: whine about the problems California faces in order to push one part of their agenda, while ignoring how another part of their agenda caused the problems in the first place. See the fiscal con page for a detailed description and several examples. The latest pundit to pull the Fiscal Con is George Will of the Washington Post, who offers "Golden State blues", link. In the article, he misleads his readers by not revealing a major cause of high spending: [California's supposedly high] tax levels...

Why won't Roger Simon reveal his ideology's role in California's problems? - 11/05/10

Roger Simon of Pajamas Media offers "Is California Hopeless?" [1]. It's yet another article by fiscal conservatives and free market types in which they fail to account for the highly negative role that their support for massive immigration has played in bringing California to its current state. And, not only does he fail to reveal his ideology's role in heavily damaging California, but he even wants us to suffer: The only solution is for California to suffer — and to suffer badly. The citizens of this state need a serious beat down. This was the place where Jane Fonda popularized “No gain...

Ask John Yoo about how to save California for real - 10/02/10

Torture memo author John Yoo offers "How to Save California: Outlaw Public Employee Unions" [1]. That's definitely an idea worth considering, but Yoo oddly enough is ignoring a more fundamental issue that would help California even more. That issue, of course, is immigration and specifically illegal immigration.

Ed Morrissey, Glenn Reynolds, Newsbusters don't tell whole truth about Bell, California - 09/22/10

Eight public officials in the city of Bell, California were recently arrested regarding the pay scandal in that city (link).

Allysia Finley doesn't tell whole truth about LAUSD spending binge (WSJ) - 09/04/10

Many fiscal conservatives live in a fantasy world where we can have massive immigration combined with low spending, despite there being absolutely no evidence of that ever happening and despite there being countless examples of how massive immigration leads to increased spending. The way many of those people get around this massive flaw in their policy proposals is to simply ignore immigration's impact.

Bell, California: see who isn't telling you the whole truth (hint: libertarians) - 08/25/10

The city of Bell, California has been in the news lately due to exorbitant salaries that city officials voted to give themselves. Most of those using Bell as an example of failed policies have failed to note that they themselves support failed policies, and those failed policies have played a role in Bell's situation. Two examples will be provided below, and the reader is encouraged to add more in comments.

George Will, blaming California's woes on liberalism, at least mentions role of massive immigration - 01/10/10

There have been a spate of recent articles in which conservatives have blamed all of California's problems on liberalism, with all of the ones I've seen almost completely ignoring the role that massive immigration has played. That massive immigration not only increased spending, but it gave more power to the free-spending far-left. Why they won't mention that isn't exactly clear, but it probably touches on political correctness, ignorance, or the fact that they fantastically think they can support massive immigration without increasing spending and giving more power to those on the far-left....

Ross Douthat's bogus "War Over California" (William Voegeli; immigration off establishment radar) - 12/24/09

Ross Douthat of the New York Times offers "The War Over California" ( He gets the first sentence right and then goes sharply downhill, offering a false choice between conservative parsimony and liberal free-spending.

Joel Kotkin grossly misleads about California's problems - 07/07/09

At Forbes, Joel Kotkin offers "Who Killed California's Economy? /There are five suspects, from the governor to the constituents themselves" (link).