Social Question

laureth's avatar

How do you, personally, define "fiscal conservative" and "fiscal liberal"?

Asked by laureth (27073 points ) January 15th, 2012

I am not testing for right or wrong answers. I don’t want a big argument about who is right and who is wrong. What I am looking for is how the average person (read: YOU) defines these terms. I could get a dictionary definition if I wanted to, but I can’t poll you by looking in a dictionary. :)

So, in other words, what are some qualities of fiscal conservatism? How would you describe it? How would you expect a fiscally conservative person or country to manage money? Same for fiscal liberalism. (Think about explaining this to an eight-year-old, if that would help.)

Also, if you want, please let us know if you consider yourself to be a fiscal conservative or liberal, and why.

Again: there aren’t any right or wrong answers for this question, which is why I put this in “social” instead of “general,” although I would like best if the discussion didn’t stray too far from the question. Thanks!

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6 Answers

jerv's avatar

My take, based on life in the 21st-century, and the fact that economic policies and political leanings often go hand-in-hand;

A Fiscal Conservative wants to cut spending to any program that helps people but refuses to consider defunding anything that helps those who line their pockets. They also want to reduce revenue in order to justify further cuts to programs they don’t like and will bill our grandkids to pay for the stuff that they do like.

A Fiscal Liberal will try to over-fund social programs with less regard for sustainability, and will think nothing of increasing taxes to cover the bills if need be.

Neither side has a realistic idea of what needs money and what doesn’t.

I consider myself a fiscal Moderate; I like paying the bills without mortgaging our future.

Ron_C's avatar

I’m a fiscal conservative and political liberal. I don’t believe that the only way to solve problems is to throw money at them and I believe the cure for a poor democracy is more democracy. The main problem with government today is that not enough people are involved.

Blackberry's avatar

I think fiscal moderates are essentially the same regardless of left/right tendencies. The rest are people that want to spend money on whatever they feel is necessary.

jerv's avatar

@Ron_C The trick is walking the line between “throwing money at the problem” and spending too little. Personally, I believe in spending wisely. But you are correct that some problems are solved better with brains than with bucks.

Ron_C's avatar

Yes @jerv I am not against the government spending money especially when they regulate business and environment damage. I would prefer to have more thinking than money spending.

DaphneT's avatar

I think a fiscal conservative is someone who doesn’t want to spend money without solid, non-risky rational. This is the person who got their first whatever, pick your favorite tech, when the technology was 5 years old or some tipping point where many others were using it and looking like it was here to stay.

The fiscal liberal is the person who sees the new whatever and says wow, I gotta get that!

I personally don’t want a fiscal conservative or a fiscal liberal to manage the government’s money. I think a fiscal conservative gets on the ball too slow, the fiscal liberal too fast. I think a fiscal conservative thinks, hey it’s my money and I don’t want to spend it that way and I think that a fiscal liberal thinks hey it’s not my money, let’s spend it.

I think a fiscal moderate would be the most effective at managing governmental money because the fiscal moderate would be saying, hey it’s not my money, but it has been entrusted to me to do the best for everyone with what we’ve got.

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