The Wisconsin Interest has gathered essays from a variety of Conservatives who comment on the Condition Which the Conservative Condition is In.
A couple of excerpts, first from Charlie Sykes:
Domestically, the next decade will see initiatives to expand the reach and intrusiveness of the nanny state and perhaps to attempts to tighten regulation and control of new media. All of them will provide opportunities for conservatives to rally opposition on principled free-market grounds.
Liberals will also raise taxes. A lot. A House resolution passed earlier this year would raise taxes by a staggering $400 billion, hitting most middle-class voters. While those increases are likely to be scaled back, they represent an impulse that will be the centerpiece of domestic politics for much of the next decade.
Tax cuts, are and will remain at the heart of any conservative agenda, because they represent the fundamental faith of conservatives in the ability of individuals to spend their own money more rationally than government. Low taxes also are the engine of opportunity and economic growth.
Next from Jim Sensenbrenner:
...Republicans simply forgot about being the Party of fiscal restraint and didn’t remember what brought them to power. Republicans forgot to say government is too big and too intrusive. Many of my fellow Republicans got a little taste of pork and couldn’t help themselves as they participated in the spending frenzy. I watched as earmarks and pork barrel projects were approved, but I did not watch in silence. I was lonesome, and unpopular with the local media when I voted against Hurricane Katrina emergency funding and the Highway Bill—packages laced with fraud and fat. I waved my hands wildly in protest as my fellow Republicans signed off on projects such as the “bridge to nowhere.” Whatever happened to living within our means?
Leadership became part of the problem, not the solution. We were plagued with allegations of leadership corruption as our leaders stopped listening and became much more interested in receiving support for their own power rather than worrying about the money that was flying out of the pockets of taxpayers.
It is important to recall that spending precedes taxation. And that in general, more Government precedes more spending.
In addition, more Government and more spending result in the migration of capital to friendlier climates--see, e.g., the flight of manufacturing to PRChina, and the flight of technology to India.
These are the big things.
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