- limited government
- personal accountability ('you're on your own')
- fiscal responsibility
Neither an accountant nor a conservative, I am puzzled by the philosophical and political debit-and-credit allocations associated with the extraordinary effort to rescue aggressive (and, until recently, obscenely compensated) broker-dealers. This episode not only doesn't fit into any of the Republicans' ostensible long-term principles, but indeed infringes most of them.
The situation's stickiness is compounded by the chronic "deficits don't matter" irresponsibility of the Bush Jr. administration: The United States has wasted so much money producing quicksand in Iraq, and has so weakened its accounts at the altar of tax-slashing for inheritors (and, to be fair, even the exceptionally wealthy whose income was earned), that the funding for this bailout must be borrowed from foreigners.
I liked Republicans and conservatives much better when they genuinely stood for fiscal responsibility, limited government and, most important, reason-based competence.