Return of the Fiscal Conservatives

Charting the course back to fiscal sanity and limited government

Finding the Responsible Party

The conservative journey back from anti-tax zealotry to limited government

Budget Model: First Edition

How to get to a real bipartisan budget deal—no budgeting gimmicks needed.

Americans Can Do a Budget Deal

The American people grasp the gravity of the deficit, and they’re willing to support the difficult tradeoffs necessary to do something about it.

Talkin’ (Policy) Shop: Return of the Fiscal Conservatives

An in-depth discussion of what fiscal conservatism means—beyond the orthodoxy of tax cuts as cure-all.

Is the Republican Party’s Refusal to Raise Taxes Fiscally Irresponsible?

American Compass’s Oren Cass and Club for Growth’s David McIntosh debate how conservatives should approach taxes and spending.


The vital conservative commitment to limited government depends upon bringing federal spending under control. Spending determines government’s size, its economic force, and the cost borne by citizens, whether they agree to overt taxation or not. The higher inflation of recent years and surging interest payments on our skyrocketing national debt both serve as reminders that, one way or another, taxpayers are inevitably on the hook for the profligate spending of politicians.

Unfortunately, as in so many areas of economic policy, conservative principle has warped into something unrecognizable: in this case, from a commitment to fiscal responsibility to an anti-tax zealotry that has contributed to exploding deficits and precluded any possibility of reform. A public promised lower taxes and higher spending simultaneously has understandably little interest in fiscal discipline. A Democratic Party that believes any spending cuts will simply be channeled into further tax cuts has no interest in checking its own ambitions for bigger government. A Republican Party that will in fact channel any spending cut into yet another tax cut has no credibility asserting that any sacrifice is required from anyone.

If conservatism means anything, it must mean living within one’s means. Conservatives need to reinvigorate that principle for their own sanity, the coherence of their agenda, and the good of the nation.