Fiscal conservatism basically is an economic and political philosophy that is related to fiscal policy and fiscal responsibility advocating reduced government debt, lowered government spending and low taxes. As per Fred Glynn, tax cuts, privatization, free trade and deregulation are some of the defining characteristics of fiscal conservatism. Fred is a councilman and past president at the Hamilton County Council. He practices fiscal conservatism with the aim of making the most out of the financial resources of the community, while having the best interests of the people in mind.
Fiscal conservatism is known to follow a philosophical outlook of classical liberalism. This term has its origins in the era of the New Deal which cropped up sometime in the 1930s according to Fred Glynn. Fiscal conservatives are known to form one of the three legs of the traditional conservative movement that took place during the 1950s. The other two prime elements of this movement were national defense conservatism and social conservatism. A lot of classical liberals who held more cultural liberal views also supported the concept of lower taxes and less government spending. As per a poll conducted in the year of 2020, around thirty-nine percentage of Americans considered themselves to be economically conservative. This factor itself underlines the viability and popularity of fiscal conservatism.
Fred Glynn points out that following a fiscally conservative approach is especially prudent when it comes to government spending and debt. People following this practice largely advocate the avoidance of deficit spending, as well as the reduction of the overall national debt and government spending. All this is done while taking into consideration of balanced budgets into account as well. All this basically bottles down to the fact that fiscal conservatives are against the expansion of the government beyond in means with the help of debt, but tend to choose debt over tax increase by factoring in the aspect of public welfare.
Fiscal conservatism can be sub-categorized into three groups or fractions. The first one of them is deficit hawks who focus on reducing the size of government debt and try to balance government budgets. People coming under this category typically are willing to consider increases in tax in case the added revenue is used to reduce debt and not increase the spending. The second group focuses more on tax cuts rather than reducing debt or spending. Many of the people belonging to this group tend to embrace supply-side economics, while holding the belief that tax cuts shall read to economic growth and ultimately more government revenue in the long term. Ultimately there is a third group for whom the difference between taxes and debt does not make much of a difference. This group puts focus on reduction in spending rather than changes in tax policy. The specific focus points of all the three groups may differ from one another, but all of them fall under the basic concept of fiscal conservatism.