I've always been a left-leaning Republican often skeptical of his own party since I was ten years old. At the time, I announced to my grandmother, who was long active in the Democratic Party, that I believed the bilge she served up on the daily ride home from school was nothing more than socialist hogwash. Still, I never fell hook, line and sinker for the party line. In college, when I served as an editor of the conservative/libertarian publication at the University of Pennsylvania, I nearly walked out of a meeting with one of our outside funders after finding myself at a loss for words at their insistence that we adopt a certain plank in our publication. Since then, I've never felt 100% at home in either party's camp, and most recently, have come to really despise the free-spending, special interest embracing ways of the Bush administration.
But that's not to say that other politicians would necessarily make me any happier. Because of this, I've created a little test to help Spend Matters readers determine who should be on their Spend Management black list. In other words, those types of political leaders (both in the US and abroad) who will stand against Spend Management in the private sector (versus government, an important distinction) rather than for it. To wit, the political enemies of Spend Management are those:
1) Politicians who favor policy over an absence of policy (i.e., those that believe that creating new laws is somewhat better than letting the open marketplace of ideas and commerce lead the way). Hat-tip: my lovely wife.
2) Politicians who believe in "fair trade" vs. free trade.
3) Politicians who would prefer to restrict the free flow of labor and commerce at the individual level (i.e., those who are not pro-immigrant and pro right-to-work).
4) Politicians who favor short-term economic jolts over long-term economic stability in their monetary and trade policies.
5) Politicians who prioritize the needs and desires of the influential few (e.g., steel companies) over the rest of the market.
Clearly, this is not an exhaustive list. But it's a start. I've specifically tried to keep tax policy out of the equation since this is a more divisive issue. Most important, I trust that this enemies blacklist is about as non-partisan as such an effort can be. What would you add to your list of Spend Management enemies?
- Jason Busch