OK, time for some mentable gymnastics! What do the following policies have in common:
American petroleum reserves should be used up as quickly as possible. Then we get to negotiate terms with foreign suppliers with none of our own, instead of some. Drill, baby, drill! Drain America First! Lower gas prices! Roads not tracks! Woo hoo!
You should spend all the appreciation in your house on stuff you can use up now, like dinners out, travel, clothes. Get a really big mortgage with a couple of years of low payments; your government is ready to help your bank ship you buckets of money. Get those new credit cards they keep asking you to apply for, and max the bejesus out of them. The payments won’t go up for many months, maybe right through a couple of ski seasons. The best part is, you protect yourself against wasting all that money on the kids’ college tuition, or retirement when you’re really too old to enjoy regular meals and stuff.
Investors should put money into smoke-and-mirrors derivatives and mortgage-backed securities. If you make the deal complicated enough, no-one can price it, so you get to say its worth whatever you want! The mortgages (see above) have a half-life of months and months, well past the next bonus date…and the bonus comes from making deals, not from having them work out OK!
The way to have a war is, you put it on your credit card. Then you get the government (not your government; Abu Dhabi’s) to make the minimum payments, then there’s a new administration and you’re home free! You don’t even have to win the war, and there’s gazillions of loose loot for your friends’ no-bid contracts. Is there anything better? Yes: you cut the friends’ taxes so the loot stays where it belongs!
The way we pay for California schools, prisons, and such this year is the same way Abe Beame got New York a free government back in the day: you collect some taxes a little early, sell some furniture, borrow a bunch, and tie a ribbon around it. Pay no attention to that spreadsheet behind the fiscal year curtain of oblivion!
A government surplus is an abomination. It denotes having wealth, and having wealth is prima facie evidence of not having burned up value as fast as possible. What you do with a surplus is, you spend it and then spend it again, to make a deficit that insulates you against sinning again, even by accident.
Who says conservatives don’t have a coherent underlying philosophy?