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.
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.
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' :
Just three days ago I wrote about J.E. Dyer of HotAir.com ignoring immigration's impact on California.
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.
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.
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 are surely related to these demographic facts: Between 2000 and 2010, Los Angeles gained fewer people than in any decade since the 1890s, and Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area have the slowest growth rates since the end of Spanish rule. For the first time since 1920, the Census did not award California even one additional congressional seat.
The high taxes and Americans leaving the state are related: a major cause of both is high low-skilled immigration. George Will (who at least acknowledged immigration's role last year) does not do that this time.
Instead, he focuses on Republican state senator Bob Dutton; see his name's link for some background.
ADDED: A main promoter of the Fiscal Con is Glenn Reynolds; he links to Will's piece at instapundit . com/121134. While (as could be expected) he just quotes and doesn't add anything, he obviously approves of the article.
Roger Simon of Pajamas Media offers "Is California Hopeless?" . 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 without pain.” Well, time for the pain. Remember the “Summer of Love”? Time for the “Summer of Tough Love.” And the Winter, Fall and Spring as well.
The alternative is presented in the comment I left (below): go to Simon's public appearances and press him on why he won't discuss the role that his ideology has played in hurting California. And, do the same with Joel Kotkin, John Yoo and others (and others) who refuse to take responsibility for what they had a hand in.
Here's the comment I left:
Why do those who like to raise taxes have such power, and why do taxes have to be raised for social welfare spending in the first place?
Isn't it odd how Roger Simon won't tell you that?
Since Roger Simon won't tell you, I will. One of the major reasons - if not the top reason - why CA is in the shape it is is because of massive immigration. It's driven Americans out of the state at the same time as increasing spending and at the same time as increasing the power that the free-spending far-left has.
And, those in Roger Simon's circle - libertarians and "free marketeer" types as well as the GWB types - allowed it to happen.
So, considering that Roger Simon's circle is responsible for allowing CA to fall to this level, it's not surprising that he wouldn't mention that to you. You might want to bring it up to him however such as when he makes public appearances.
Instead of revealing the root causes of CA's problems and adjusting his ideology or his circle, Roger Simon turns his back on his fellow Americans and wishes them to suffer.
Torture memo author John Yoo offers "How to Save California: Outlaw Public Employee Unions" . 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.
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.
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.
It took years for compassionate liberalism to make California's welfare menu contribute to the state becoming an importer of Mexico's poverty.
Now see this 2006 column in which he promoted Bush's amnesty plan (ignoring attrition) and this post. Why wasn't he suggesting attrition back then as a way to reduce the problems that California is facing today?
He also fails to note the role that NAFTA and "free trade" played in reducing the number of factory jobs in the state and immigration's role in causing Americans to flee to other states. Instead, it's all about those damn hippies, as he tries to make people in other states think that all Californians are like the far-left loons in Berkeley. Maybe Huell Howser (link) could be enlisted to give him a tour of the other parts of the state.