I have a small business, and I periodically take out loans to help me expand. As the economy started picking up, I decided to take out such a loan in anticipation of higher revenues. Unfortunately, the higher revenues haven’t materialized, and I am stuck with paying off the loan with my previous levels of income.
As a conservative, I have always held to the notion of personal responsibility. If I incur debt, I do what I can to pay it off. This notion of personal responsibility has been a hallmark of conservative ideals, so much so that when the Heritage Foundation floated a plan for universal health care back in the Clinton days to counter the move to single-payer health care, they proposed an individual mandate much like the one in the current ACA, as a matter of personal responsibility.
However, conservative thought is changing, and I’m doing my best to change with it. For instance, there are movements in the Republican caucus to default on the nation’s debt. Rep. John Fleming (R-La) says that “nothing happens” if the debt ceiling is reached. Sean Hannity and Andrea Tantaros argued that default is nothing to be afraid of because the country needs “to feel a little pain.”
If current conservative opinion is that the United States defaulting on its debt is not big deal, then if I’m to get in sync with this new conservatism, if I default on my loans to the bank, that should also be no big deal. I shouldn’t need to feel guilty if I don’t pay back my loans, and I should expect that the next time I need a loan for my business, the bank will have no problem with my little oversight this time.
Still, for a conservative it’s going to take some getting used to to no longer feel personal responsibility for my actions.