Title of Abstract

The Ideological Shift of Conservatives on Government Spending

Submitting Student(s)

Garrett Jackson

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Political Science

Abstract

How does studying the evolving economic policy of political parties serve as an indicator to their overall ideological shifts? This paper explores that question by considering the actual economic policies pursued by Republican Presidential administrations considering their claims that they are the party of conservative economic principles. Conservatives have long championed decreased government spending, but it has not been reflected in their actions when in power. Especially in terms of economic assistance, conservatives seemed to have forgotten the idea of shrinking the deficit that they advocate, thus playing a part in the skyrocketing national debt that they promised to shrink. To give a broad overview, the debt as a whole has shifted drastically away from defense spending toward what would be considered more socially directed programs, which runs contrary to the conservative preferences typically espoused by the Republican Party. Most recently, President Trump signed into law a large COVID spending plan and wanted to pass an even larger plan, but he was unable to do so because Congress rejected it. In what world does a Republican president get upset with Congress because they will not spend more money? Unfortunately, this disconnect has become an ironic detriment for the Republican Party’s assertions of its conservative commitments, and it needs to be addressed to restore traditional conservative economic principles. This paper will provide evidence of this policy drift by Republican administrations and analyze why this discrepancy has emerged between the professed conservative economic ideology of the party and their actual policies.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

The Ideological Shift of Conservatives on Government Spending

How does studying the evolving economic policy of political parties serve as an indicator to their overall ideological shifts? This paper explores that question by considering the actual economic policies pursued by Republican Presidential administrations considering their claims that they are the party of conservative economic principles. Conservatives have long championed decreased government spending, but it has not been reflected in their actions when in power. Especially in terms of economic assistance, conservatives seemed to have forgotten the idea of shrinking the deficit that they advocate, thus playing a part in the skyrocketing national debt that they promised to shrink. To give a broad overview, the debt as a whole has shifted drastically away from defense spending toward what would be considered more socially directed programs, which runs contrary to the conservative preferences typically espoused by the Republican Party. Most recently, President Trump signed into law a large COVID spending plan and wanted to pass an even larger plan, but he was unable to do so because Congress rejected it. In what world does a Republican president get upset with Congress because they will not spend more money? Unfortunately, this disconnect has become an ironic detriment for the Republican Party’s assertions of its conservative commitments, and it needs to be addressed to restore traditional conservative economic principles. This paper will provide evidence of this policy drift by Republican administrations and analyze why this discrepancy has emerged between the professed conservative economic ideology of the party and their actual policies.