It’s time that we take faith-based positions out of the conservative policy playbook. I’m not talking about religious faith – even though I’ve made that argument elsewhere – but policy faith where we believe certain policies lead to certain results in the face of evidence to the contrary. I've always believed that deficits and debt matter. I've always believed that printing our way out was a recipe for inflation. But I'm a heathen, so my world doesn't have room for faith-based views. I need to confront the world as I find it.
Recently, I wrote on the subject of paying for government handouts and how there have been no negative consequences from more and more spending. Conservatives have been saying for – literally – decades that there are consequences to the kind of debt we are carrying. They said it in the 1990s when our national debt crossed $5 trillion. Even the left complained about debt in the 1980s when it crossed $2 trillion.
When we've been hearing for decades that there are real consequences to high national debt at $2 trillion and $5 trillion, at what point do we stop believing that those consequences are real when our debt has now topped $16 trillion? What's real is that there have been no consequences to higher debt. There have been no consequences to increasing government handouts. There have been no consequences to printing more money to pay for government spending.
Conservatives have been predicting a reckoning for decades. Obama is the ultimate test of these predictions, reaching levels of spending never thought possible. When will these conservative predictions come true? Conservatives can’t point to any actual consequences; they can only point to possible future consequences. I've been hearing that there would be consequences for $14 trillion dollars and 25 years. How long should I keep the faith? It reminds me of end times predictions from Christians or Mayans. When the date of a prediction passes, another prediction comes along to replace the last one.
In response to these comments, I was told that we will still feel the full consequences of our actions, but it just hasn’t happened yet. It’s very possible that all of Obama’s accumulated debt and the continued money printing will eventually lead to economic catastrophe. If that happens, have no doubt that conservatives will be credited with predicting the results. Hell, we’ve been predicting it for decades so, if it actually happens, no one can say that we’ve been silent.
So let’s go ahead and check that one off the list: predict economic doom as a result of Democrat spending policies. Check. Now let’s move on. If we’re being honest, the escalating spending and the enormous size of the federal government have had no real world consequences. Taxes haven’t gone up to pay for the spending. Inflation hasn’t gotten out of control as a result of printing more money.
None of the conservatives’ predictions have come true. By repeating them in the face of reality, we are losing any remaining credibility we have left. It’s time for the right to look at the world as it is, not as their faith tells them it should be. It’s time that we acknowledge that Democrats are not bearing the consequences of their economic policies – they are winning elections. The sooner Republicans can abandon their faith-based thinking and embrace reality, the sooner they will begin winning elections.